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DEP Asks Pennsylvanians to Help Battle West Nile Virus
Date:6/10/2009

gram in place that has been proven effective in controlling mosquito populations and decreasing human cases of West Nile, but the threat of humans contracting the disease still exists," said Hanger. "If we cut back our aggressive efforts to battle mosquitoes, we will place a large percentage of our residents at risk for contracting this deadly disease."

In 2003, the year before Pennsylvania integrated a pest management program that led to better identifying and controlling mosquito populations, the virus was detected in all 67 counties. There were 237 confirmed human cases with nine deaths. Since then, there have not been more than 25 confirmed human cases in any given year.

Hanger said the West Nile virus was detected in 37 counties last year. There were 14 persons diagnosed with the disease with one confirmed death.

The first positive result of 2009 was found in an American crow collected in Springettsbury Township, York County, on May 5. This is the second-earliest reported evidence of West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania since 2003, when West Nile virus was identified in late April of that year.

Tips to eliminate standing water include:

  • Throw away tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water--holding containers that have accumulated on property.
  • Pay special attention to discarded tires, which can hold stagnant water.
  • Maintain drainage holes that are located on the sides of gardening containers that might allow enough water to collect for mosquitoes to develop.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters as needed.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows and birdbaths when not in use.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stick them with fish.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collect
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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