Erie County Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus


For Immediate Release:
Sept. 14, 2023

 

Media Contact:
Breanna Adams | Director, Environmental Health Serrvices
badams@eriecountypa.gov | 814-451-6770

 

Erie County Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus

 

Erie, PA — The Erie County Department of Health confirms that mosquito samples collected in the City of Erie and Harborcreek Township on Sept. 6, 2023 have tested positive for West Nile virus. These are the eighth and ninth mosquito samples to test positive in Erie County in 2023. At this time, no human cases have been reported in Erie County.

Additional monitoring will be done in the area where these mosquito samples were collected. Appropriate control work will be conducted, depending on the number and types of mosquitoes that are found.

Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus. When transmitted to people, this virus can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. Anyone can get the virus, but older adults and people with compromised immune systems have the highest risk of developing severe illness because their bodies have a harder time fighting off disease.

Prevent mosquito bites with the following tips:

  • Insect repellants with DEET can be applied as directed to exposed skin and thin clothing.
  • Stay indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active. If you must go outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
  • Use the proper type of lighting outside. Incandescent lights attract mosquitoes, while florescent lights neither attract nor repel mosquitoes.
  • Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.”
  • Mosquitoes are repelled by high winds, so electric fans may provide some relief at outdoor events.

Reduce the number of mosquitoes around homes and neighborhoods by getting rid of standing water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

  • Dispose of any refuse that can hold water—such as tin cans, containers and used tires.
  • Products such as “mosquito dunks” can be obtained from garden centers.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers and check uncovered junk piles.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters every year. Check storm drains, leaky faucets and window wells.
  • Empty accumulated water from wheelbarrows, boats, cargo trailers, toys and ceramic pots. If possible, turn them over when not using them.
  • Do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths, ornamental pools, water gardens and swimming.

More information is available at dep.pa.gov.