DEP Asks Pennsylvanians to Help Battle West Nile Virus
Warns Proposed Budget Cuts to Program Would Increase Threat of Disease
Hanger said standing water can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. He asked all Pennsylvanians to follow the simple rule of dump it, drain it and treat it.
“Dump it if it has water in it; drain it if it can be drained; and treat it if it has standing water,” said Hanger. “By taking these simple actions in your own backyard, you can eliminate those breeding areas and reduce your chances of contracting the virus.”
Certain mosquitoes species carry West Nile virus, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.
This year, Governor
In addition, the Senate plan proposed to slash an additional
In 2003, the year before
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,
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 collects on your property.
For more information, visit www.westnile.state.pa.us.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection