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Westmoreland

Hempfield seminar offers tips on preventing mosquito, tick infections

Jeff Himler
| Saturday, July 7, 2018, 12:12 a.m.
mosquito
mosquito

As state officials report West Nile virus infections in mosquitoes in Westmoreland, Allegheny and Fayette counties, the Westmoreland Conservation District is planning a seminar on tips residents can use to protect themselves against the blood-sucking insects that can spread the disease to humans.

The free program is set for 6 to 8 p.m. July 18 at the conservation district headquarters, at 218 Donohoe Road, Hempfield.

It also will touch on the ticks that can infect people with Lyme disease.

Chelsea Gross, West Nile virus program technician with the conservation district, will present the two-part seminar.

During the first hour, she'll focus on actions people can take to reduce the number of mosquitoes on their properties, such as eliminating standing water, and the repellents they can use to keep away the flying insects.

According to the latest surveillance data from the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program, on Friday, two mosquitoes sampled in Allegheny County have tested positive for the disease and one each has tested positive in Westmoreland and Fayette counties. Infected mosquitoes were found in 30 other counties, but there were no signs of any human infections in the state.

The majority of people infected with the West Nile virus develop no symptoms, and most of those who experience aches and a fever recover completely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the second half of the seminar, “Dare 2B Tick Aware,” Gross will discuss ways to prevent tick bites, what a person can do if bitten and the symptoms of tick-borne infection.

Light refreshments will be served between the two seminar parts.

Because space is limited, those planning to attend must register by July 17. Email receptionist@wcdpa.com or call 724-837-5271, ext. 1.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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