ShareThis Page

Allegheny County announces first West Nile case of 2017

Ben Schmitt
| Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, 10:57 a.m.
Allegheny County Health Department said it plans to treat 8,500 catch basins to reduce the risk of West Nile virus being transmitted through mosquito bites.
Courtesy of James Gathany/CDC
Allegheny County Health Department said it plans to treat 8,500 catch basins to reduce the risk of West Nile virus being transmitted through mosquito bites.

A Pittsburgh woman has tested positive for West Nile virus, marking the first case in Allegheny County this year, health officials announced Tuesday.

A mosquito bit the East End resident in mid-August, according to the Allegheny County Health Department.

She was hospitalized after showing symptoms but has since been discharged. Officials in a news release described her as "elderly." They did not release her age or identify the neighborhood where she lives.

The species of mosquitoes carrying West Nile usually bite at dawn and dusk. Health experts recommend people use insect repellent containing DEET to avoid bites. A West Nile infection can sometimes result in brain inflammation.

About one in five people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Department of Environmental Protection has detected West Nile-infected mosquitoes in 36 counties this year, including Westmoreland and Allegheny.

County staff will be spraying at dusk Tuesday in Shadyside, Bloomfield and Lawrenceville to protect residents. The county plans to use Zenivex, a pesticide that kills mosquitoes but is not harmful to people and pets.

West Nile Virus has been frequently found in the county since 2002 during the mosquito season of April through November. No deaths have been reported since four victims died in 2002, officials said. The most recent cases in Allegheny County were in 2015, when 3 people were infected.

Earlier this month, a Montgomery County resident became the first person in Pennsylvania to test positive for West Nile virus this year.

More information on WNV including frequently asked questions about prevention, symptoms, transmission and more can be found at .

Staff writer Theresa Clift contributed. Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me