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Mosquito Concerns

The colder months are right around the corner but when it comes to pests and the diseases they spread local experts are warning people not to let their guard down just yet.

Madi Baggett explains.

During late summer/early fall, plants, animals and even humans start stocking up and preparing for the long winter ahead. And just like a bear prepping for hibernation, mosquitoes are also getting ready for the colder months. By this time of year, most mosquitoes have reached maturity and tend to move into saturated areas in search of their next meal.

Ever since West Nile Virus first appeared in PA in 2000, the Pennsylvania departments of Health, Environmental Protection and Agriculture developed a program to aid in the detection and prevention of the infectious disease. After a lull in positive cases over the past three years, infection rates are once again synonymous with the numbers that were observed in 2018.

According to Mary Vibostok, Vector Control Director, by mid August there were already several mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile.

Blair, Cambria, Centre counties have all tested positive for carrying the virus.

Although there have been no confirmed human cases in our area, Vibostok says it is important to stay vigilant when it comes to protecting ourselves and our homes.

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The good news is, most of those infected with West Nile Virus are asymptomatic and aren’t even aware they have been exposed. However, if you do think you have been infected, there are some steps you can take to prevent further complications.

For more information on West Nile Virus and to view a chart comparing symptoms of West Nile Virus to those of COVID-19 and Lyme Disease, visit PA Department of Environmental Protection Website.

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