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Governor Rendell Proposes County Grants to Combat West Nile Virus, Protect Public Health
Date:3/31/2008

$5.3 Million in Grants to Benefit Prevention, Control Efforts in Every County

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Every county in Pennsylvania will benefit from an aggressive effort to monitor and control mosquitoes this summer, said Governor Edward G. Rendell today as he announced a $5.3 million investment that will help fight to stop the West Nile Virus.

"We've worked diligently over the past several years to protect the public's health by ensuring that our counties have the resources they need to control mosquito populations and monitor for signs of the West Nile Virus," said Governor Rendell. "Our investments are paying dividends. With fewer human cases, few counties reporting that the virus has been detected, and a better understanding by the public of the threat, our citizens can enjoy the outdoors with more peace of mind."

In 2003, there were 237 reported human cases of the West Nile Virus, with nine fatalities. In 2006, nine Pennsylvanians were diagnosed with the virus, two of whom died. Last year, though, nine state residents contracted the virus but there were no deaths.

In humans, the virus can cause West Nile fever and encephalitis, an infection that can cause inflammation of the brain and death. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito will never develop any symptoms, and only one in 150 with symptoms will develop the more serious West Nile encephalitis.

"The investment we're making this year will help the Department of Environmental Protection and county West Nile Virus workers to remain vigilant," said the Governor. "West Nile Virus is still active in parts of Pennsylvania, and controlling it requires the aggressive mosquito surveillance and control program that we will support again this year."

DEP and county staff supported by the grants announced today use environmentally sensitive materials to control the mosquito population.

For killing larvae, which is the m
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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