Mosquito samples continue to test positive for West Nile Virus, Allegheny County Health Dept. says

The Allegheny County Health Department continues to collect mosquito samples that have tested positive for West Nile Virus. In response, the department will treat areas in Baldwin, Beltzhoover/Knoxville and Sheraden/Corliss with a pesticide called Zenivex E20.

The pesticide is classified by the EPA as a low-risk insecticide as it is not harmful to humans or pets.

Crews will use a truck-mounted sprayer on Wednesday, July 10, from 8 to 11 p.m. to lower the local mosquito population and minimize the risk of human transmission. In the event of rain, spraying will take place the following evening, July 11, during those same hours.

West Nile Virus is the leading mosquito-borne disease in the United States. It is spread to people by bites from infected mosquitoes. Cases of West Nile Virus occur during mosquito season, which starts in the spring and continues through the fall.

The last reported human case of West Nile Virus occurred in September 2023.

Most people infected with West Nile Virus do not feel sick. Only one in five people infected with the virus develop a fever and other symptoms, such as a headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than one percent of infected people develop a serious illness.

“Generally, the species of mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are active from dusk to dawn,” said Allegheny County Health Department Vector Control Specialist Nicholas Baldauf. “Residents can deter mosquito bites by using insect repellent on exposed skin or choosing to wear long sleeves and pants. Both methods are effective at reducing or eliminating the possibility of getting a mosquito bite.”

There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat West Nile Virus.

“County residents play an important role when it comes to reducing the area’s mosquito population,” said Baldauf.  “Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a half inch of stagnant water, so residents should pay close attention to potential breeding sites like stagnant water in tires, unused swimming pools, buckets, corrugated piping, and clogged gutters.”

Residents can report mosquito breeding sites on private properties and public areas to the Allegheny County Health Department’s Housing and Community Environment Program by completing an online form or calling 412-350-4046.

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