Traces of West Nile Virus found in Centre County

Centre County, Pa. - Summertime for Tracy Masterson means plenty of outside play time with her son, Ollie.

But they share the great outdoors with some not so playful pesks---mosquitoes.

From May through Sept. regions throughout Centre County are tested for traces of the West Nile Virus.

Robert Bloom, Coordinator for the West Nile Virus Control Program, said weekly checkups are necessary to monitor the region.

Mosquitoes are collected and sent to Harrisburg for analysis.

In July mosquitoes form  Patton, Harris, and College Townships tested positive.

There hasn't been any reported infections with humans, but Bloom said it's a good idea to take precaution.

"Or protect themselves as much as possible by wearing insect repellent...And wearing long sleeves, long pants, things like that," Bloom said.

"I probably will go to the store and definitely go get bug spray," Matherson said.

The virus doesn't start with the mosquito, they usually are infected by other surrounding creatures.

"The crows seem to be the main reservoir fro the West Nile Virus. And if you see a bird that's acting strange or seems hurt, you know, avoid it," Bloom said.

If you get bit by a mosquito and have concerning symptoms, call your doctor.

But Bloom said these odds aren't alarming.

"The odds of contracting it and having any serious consequences seem to be pretty small," Bloom said.

As a resident of Patton Township, Matherson said it's still good information to have to keep her Ollie safe.

"I don't want him getting sick, it's just as important as not getting a cold or getting his vaccines routinely at the doctors," Matherson said.

Bloom said another way to avoid mosquitoes is to get rid of any still uncovered water they could be attracted to like bird baths or unused pools.


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