Mosquito tests positive for West Nile Virus in New Kensington |
Valley News Dispatch

Mosquito tests positive for West Nile Virus in New Kensington

Brian C. Rittmeyer

A mosquito sample from New Kensington tested positive for West Nile virus, the state West Nile Control Program announced Monday.

It came from a trap set by the Westmoreland County Conservation District, according to state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Lauren Fraley.

“Additional trapping will be conducted to gather more information to help us determine whether spraying is warranted,” she said. “Generally, DEP is seeing lower levels of virus activity, lower trap counts and fewer numbers of positives this year compared to last.”

It’s the first positive test result in Westmoreland County this year, according to the program’s website.

There have been seven positive mosquito results in Allegheny County this year.

No humans have tested positive for West Nile in Western Pennsylvania counties this year.

Samples from 26 mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile statewide. Other mosquito positives came from Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lawrence, Luzerne, Philadelphia and York counties.

West Nile virus can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation. The virus first was detected in North America in 1999 and found in Pennsylvania in 2000.

Anyone who believes they or someone they know has West Nile Virus should consult their doctor.

In 2018, five people in Allegheny County tested positive for West Nile and there was one case in Westmoreland County in a human.

Armstrong and Butler counties had no human cases last year.

Health department officials urge the public to protect themselves from mosquitoes by getting rid of standing water in yards and neighborhoods, making sure open windows and doors have screens, using insect repellent on exposed skin and minimizing time spent outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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