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DEP to Complete Aerial Mosquito Treatments to Stem West Nile Virus in Southeastern Counties
Date:8/27/2008

Spraying Set for Tonight in Parts of Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia Counties

NORRISTOWN, Pa., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After encouraging results following the first night of aerial treatments, the Department of Environmental Protection will continue its efforts this evening to protect the public against the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

Targeted aerial treatments will be administered between 8 p.m. and midnight in portions of Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties where very high numbers of virus-carrying mosquitoes have been recorded.

"Last night's treatment efforts covered approximately 52,000 acres in Delaware and Montgomery counties," said Joseph A. Feola, the department's southeast regional director. "Initial indications from our mosquito traps in Montgomery County suggest that the spray was highly effective."

Tonight's targeted application will cover 55,000 acres in the four counties.

DEP will report on all treatment activities and will make the latest information available at http://www.westnile.state.pa.us, including a map of areas that have been and will be treated. The public may also call 484-250-5824 for a recorded message that details upcoming aerial spraying events. The recorded message will be updated daily and will be available through the end of this week.

The decision to apply treatments from the air was made in consultation with county West Nile virus program coordinators, the Department of Health, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Feola said aerial treatments are recommended when five-out-of-every-1,000 mosquitoes test positive for the virus. Infection rates in the targeted areas all exceed the aerial treatment recommendation threshold or have a significant population of mosquito species that could become infected.

Weather permitting, residents in the targeted areas can expect to see low-flying airplanes spraying Resmethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid product, at the rate of .0035 pounds per acre, or an amount equal to one-third of a teaspoon.

The spray rate is half of the amount approved for safe application by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and should have no adverse effects to human health, animals, ornamental ponds or plant life.

While Resmethrin is considered safe with little risk of toxicity, the Department of Health recommends some basic steps the public may take to reduce possible exposure to it:

-- Children and pregnant women should take care to avoid exposure when practical. If possible, remain inside or avoid the area whenever spraying takes place and for about thirty minutes after spraying. That time period will greatly reduce the likelihood of your breathing pesticide in air.

-- Close windows and doors and turn off window air-conditioning units or close their vents to circulate indoor air before spraying begins. Windows and air-conditioner vents can be reopened about 30 minutes after spraying.

-- Anyone experiencing adverse reactions to pesticides should seek medical care or call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.

"By taking these conservative measures, recommended by the Department of Health, people can feel confident that they have limited their exposure to the active ingredient used in spraying," said Dr. Veronica Urdaneta, the Pennsylvania state epidemiologist.

Certain mosquito species carry the West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that may result in an inflammation of the brain. One human case of the West Nile virus has been confirmed this year in a 27-year-old Montgomery County woman.

The best way to control mosquitoes is still to get rid of standing water on your property. Tips for eliminating mosquito-breeding areas are available at http://www.westnile.state.pa.us.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Aerial treatments will be applied in the following townships and zip codes from 8 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Bucks County

Wrightstown Township

Newtown Township

Northampton Township

Warminster Township

Middletown Township

Falls Township

Upper Southampton Township

Langhorne Borough

Lower Southampton Township

Bristol Township

Langhorne Manor Borough

Penndel Borough

Tullytown Borough

Bensalem Township

Hulmeville Borough

Bristol Borough

Delaware County

Radnor Township

Montgomery County

Abington Township

Upper Moreland Township

Hatboro Borough

Lower Moreland Township

Bryn Athyn Borough

Philadelphia County ZIP codes

19142

19153

19131


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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