Philadelphia resident may have Pa.’s first 2019 human case of West Nile Virus | TribLIVE.com
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Brian C. Rittmeyer

The first case of West Nile Virus infection in a person this year has been detected in a Philadelphia resident, the state Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday.

Samples were being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation, the department said.

State residents are being urged to minimize exposure to mosquitoes. So far this year, mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus have been detected in 32 of the state’s counties, including Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence and Westmoreland.

“While we encourage Pennsylvanians to enjoy the outdoors, we also want them to take proper precautions from mosquitoes while outside,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “With the first human case of West Nile Virus detected, we want people to protect themselves. Several simple steps can help protect yourself and loved ones from mosquito-related diseases.”

The mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus are most active at dawn and dusk. People can avoid bites by using insect repellants with DEET and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing.

Window and door screens should be kept in place and in good condition to keep mosquitoes from entering homes.

State biologists have started a survey of the mosquito population to determine the risk for further human illness. If necessary, adult mosquito populations will be reduced, the DEP said.

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