ABINGTON, PA — West Nile Virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes in Abington and Whitemarsh townships, the state announced on Tuesday. The discovery marks the first cases of West Nile in Montgomery County in 2019. One positive sample was found in each township, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The specific locations were not disclosed. A total of eight positives were found around the state in the most recent round of testing done by the state’s West Nile Control Program.
Officials with the DEP and the Montgomery County Department of Health are responding to the samples “as needed.” No chemical spraying has yet been announced. West Nile virus appeared for the first time in Pennsylvania in birds, mosquitoes and a horse in 2000.
It is most commonly spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. It can cause febrile illness, encephalitis, or meningitis, according to the CDC.
The best way to control mosquitoes is still to get rid of standing water on your property.
The following guidelines have been offered to help residents minimize their risk:
• Limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk during warmer months since most types of mosquitoes bite most frequently during these times. Be aware though that some types of mosquitoes bite most frequently during the daytime.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and socks. Choose clothing that is light colored and made of tightly woven material.
• Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
• Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside.
• Cover or empty containers such as trash cans, wading pools, wheelbarrows, and pots.
• Turn containers upside down when not in use so they don’t collect water.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers.
• Get rid of old tires.
• Change the water in bird baths every three to five days.
• Check storm drains, window wells, and underneath leaky faucets for standing water.