Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DEP finds West Nile Virus in Phoenixville borough mosquito test

Not since August 26, 2006 has Phoenixville borough had a positive result test for the mosquito-borne disease, West Nile Virus.

Today I received the following alert from the Department of Environmental Protection:


Twenty-one Mosquito Samples Test Postive for West Nile Virus

The following is a list of the new mosquito positives for the day:

Mosquito Positives - (21)

Adams - Conewago Township

Bucks - Bristol Township

Chester - Phoenixville Borough

Dauphin - Susquehanna Township

Lancaster - Mount Joy Borough

Lancaster - Pequea Township

Lebanon - Cornwall Borough

Lebanon - South Londonderry Township

Montgomery - Lower Merion Township

Montgomery - Norristown Borough

Montgomery - Springfield Township

Montgomery - Upper Dublin Township

Montgomery - Upper Merion Township (3)

Montgomery - West Conshohocken Borough

Montgomery - Whitemarsh Township (5)

This is Chester County's first reported postive of 2010. DEP and County Staff are responding by increasing surveillance and control activities as needed.


John Repetz
Department of Environmental Protection


Transmitted by mosquitos, information regarding the most commonly asked questions, including the symptoms of West Nile Virus can be found here:


It's important to know how to limit mosquito breeding in your neighborhood and what steps to take to limit your exposure.

From the DEP website:

How can you reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood?

Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Even a small bucket that has stagnant water in it for seven days can become home to up to 1,000 mosquitoes. Here are some easy tips to eliminate standing water:

Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water holding containers that have accumulated on your property. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.

Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have accumulated on your property.

Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors.

Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed in.

Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters are easily overlooked but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a mosquito producer if it is not used on a regular basis.

Turn over wheelbarrows and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths. Both provide breeding habitat for domestic mosquitoes.

Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left untended by a family that goes on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

How can I protect myself?

It is not necessary to limit any outdoor activities, unless local officials advise you otherwise.

However, you can and should try to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. In addition to reducing stagnant water in your yard, make sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.

If West Nile virus is found in your area:

· Take normal steps to prevent insect bites.

· Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are most active.

· Consider the use of mosquito repellent, according to directions, when it is necessary to be outdoors. Wash all treated skin and clothing when returning indoors.

· Click here for the CDC's latest information on the use of DEET in Insect Repellent Use and Safety.

Remember, electromagnetic and ultrasound devices and Vitamin B are not effective in preventing mosquito bites.

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