West Nile virus found in western Pennsylvania

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PITTSBURGH — West Nile Virus was recently detected in mosquito populations in two counties in western Pennsylvania.

Mosquitoes collected by the Allegheny County Health Department’s Vector Control Program on July 11 in the City of Pittsburgh’s Beltzhoover and South Side Slopes neighborhoods, as well as Mt. Oliver Borough, tested positive for West Nile virus.

The Mercer County Conservation District said, in a July 19 release, that mosquitoes in the City of Sharon also tested positive. The district said businesses and residents near Sharon’s Budd Street Bridge should take extra precautions such as applying insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk and dawn.

West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the country. Most people infected with the West Nile virus do not feel sick. Only one in five people infected with the virus develop a fever and other symptoms, such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, and less than 1% of infected people develop a serious illness. The last reported human case of West Nile virus occurred last September.

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