The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Health Department have confirmed the year's first West Nile virus detection from a mosquito sample collected in Springettsbury Township, York County, on May 22.
On May 26, a bird infected with the virus was found in Harris Township, Centre County.
In 2004, Pennsylvania first started its integrated pest management program. Since then, the state has improved its control and identification of its mosquito populations. As part of the program, analysts regularly survey the counties for historical presence of West Nile virus. The DEP treats affected areas only when necessary, and it uses safe and effective control substances.
“DEP vigilantly monitors the mosquito population across Pennsylvania,” acting DEP Secretary John Quigley said. “When West Nile virus is identified, DEP staff works quickly to prevent the spread of the virus. Today’s announcement serves as a reminder that all Pennsylvanians should take precautions to protect against mosquitoes.”
Last year, 39 counties reported West Nile virus. There were 13 human cases of the viruses and only one death.
“The Department of Health will be following the incidence of the virus,” Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy said. “We encourage all to use caution prior to spending time outdoors.”