Pennsylvania reports first human case of West Nile Virus in 2019

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (ABC 24) – Pennsylvania’s first probable human case of West Nile Virus has been detected in a Philadelphia resident. The samples taken have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention for confirmatory testing. The Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection recommend that all residents minimize their exposure to mosquitoes.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine encourages Pennsylvanians to enjoy the outdoors, she also wants them to take the proper precautions from mosquitoes while outside.

“With the first human case of the West Nile Virus detected, we want people to protect themselves,” Levine said. “Several simple steps can help protect yourself and loved ones from mosquito-related diseases.”

Although mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day or night, the mosquitoes that transmit WNV are most active at dawn and dusk. When outdoors, people can avoid mosquito bites by properly and consistently using DEET-containing insect repellants and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing. To keep mosquitoes from entering a home, make sure window and door screens are in place and are in good condition.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducts regular surveillance and control to manage mosquito populations around the state. So far, DEP has detected WNV-infected mosquitoes in 32 counties.

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