The Chesapeake Health Department has confirmed that increased activity has been detected by the Chesapeake Mosquito Management Committee.
Chesapeake, Virginia — West Nile virus activity is increasing in the city of Chesapeake.
The Chesapeake Health Department has confirmed that increased activity has been detected by the Chesapeake Mosquito Management Committee. Insects have tested positive for the disease at a higher rate this summer after sporadic thunderstorms.
The West Nile virus spreads through the bites of infected mosquitoes and, in severe cases, can lead to meningitis, paralysis and even death.
Currently, Virginia and North Carolina are part of a small group of states in which no human cases have been detected this year.
“This summer, mosquitoes test positive for the disease at a higher rate than usual. Sporadic thunderstorms and human activities such as watering the lawn and washing cars persist the mosquito breeding habitat. “I’ve done it,” said Lisa Wagenbrenner, director of mosquito management at Chesapeake.
“Recent rains have caused more mosquitoes, so it’s important for Chesapeake residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their families,” said Dr. Nancy Welch, Chesapeake Health Director.
From Chesapeake Health Department:
The highest risk of serious WNV disease is in adults over the age of 50 and in people whose immunity is suppressed due to diseases such as cancer and diabetes. People who are experiencing symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiff shoulders, confusion, and lethargy should see a doctor immediately.
West Nile virus can cause serious illness in humans, but less than 1% of infected people develop serious neurological problems. The best preventive measure for this disease is to avoid mosquito bites. Below are some tips to help reduce the risk of being bitten.
○ When you are outdoors, use an insect repellent containing active ingredients registered in the EPA. Follow the package instructions.
○ Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Always use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and long trousers, or consider staying indoors during this time.
○ Make sure there is a suitable screen on the windows and doors to keep out mosquitoes.
○ Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in the garden where rainwater collects. Sales or empty bird baths, flowerpots, buckets, or barrels. Clean the rain gutter and downspout screen. Remove old tires from your yard. Eliminates water trapped on flat roofs, boats, or tarpaulins. When not in use, empty the children’s water pool and set it aside.
○ If the accumulated water cannot be removed, put an insecticide such as a mosquito dunk in the water to kill the growing mosquitoes. Be sure to read the label description.
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