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PA Department of Health Confirms the First Human Case of West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania for 2009
Date:8/11/2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Health Secretary Everette James today reported this year's first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Pennsylvania. The individual is a 21-year-old woman from Luzerne County.

"The number of cases of West Nile disease has declined significantly in the past five years but this season's first case is a reminder that the disease is still out there," Secretary James said. "You can take precautions to protect yourself from this deadly disease."

James recommended these simple precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly for those most at risk which include the elderly and those with compromised immune systems:

  • Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of your home;
  • When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, the times of day when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active, during the warmer months of the year (usually April through October);
  • Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes;
  • Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions. Effective repellents contain DEET. Consult a doctor if you have concerns about the use of repellent on young children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months. Two other insect repellants, Picaridin (KBR 3023) and oil of lemon eucalyptus, a plant based repellent, were tested against mosquitoes and provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET.

Pennsylvanians can also reduce the risk of West Nile virus by eliminating the places where mosquitoes breed.

Here are some simple steps that can be taken around the house:


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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