HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania has reported its first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2019, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
According to the DEP, a WNV infection has been found in a Philadelphia resident. Samples are being sent to the CDC for evaluation.
“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.”
Earlier this year, the DEP found WNV in mosquitoes in 32 counties, including Centre County and Blair County.
The DEP says there are steps to take to control the mosquito population:
• Remove tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires or any object that could collect standing water. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.
• Have roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from nearby trees have a tendency to clog the drains.
• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
• Do not let water stagnate in birdbaths.
• Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with fish.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and remove standing water from pool covers.
• Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
• Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated with Bti products which are sold at outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. Bti is a natural product that kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.
The DEP will continue to monitor areas affected.