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Chester County to Receive More than $ 100,000 to Prevent West Nile Virus
WEST CHESTER (April 17) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that Chester County will receive $104,807 in state funding for mosquito control measures to help prevent the spread of West Nile Virus this summer.
“These funds can go a long way in helping to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus in our region,” Dinniman said. “I also encourage residents to do their part to prevent West Nile Virus by removing or cleaning up potential mosquito-breeding sites where stagnant water can collect, like old tires, bird baths or uncovered trash cans.
The funds, which come through the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) West Nile Virus Control Program Grants, will be used to cover the costs associated with surveying and controlling mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus
To reduce the risk of West Nile Virus, DEP and county staff use a combination of education, source reduction and mosquito control. Mosquito control is largely done by using larval control products, such as Bti (bacillus thuringiensis israelenis),which is derived from soil bacteria.
If necessary, man-made adult mosquito control products derived from the chrysanthemum flower are used to reduce mosquito populations when they pose an elevated risk of infecting people. Adult mosquito control products are effective in controlling mosquito populations and pose little to no harmful effect to humans, plants or other animals.
Last year DEP detected 1,213 mosquito samples, 28 avian specimens, two horses and 11 humans infected with West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania.
Chester County had one confirmed human case in 2012, the first since 2008. In 2012, 146 Mosquito samples tested positive for West Nike Virus in Chester County, compared to 29 positive samples in 2011.
In humans the virus can cause West Nile fever and encephalitis, an infection that can cause inflammation of the brain and death. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito will never develop any symptoms, and only one person in 150 people with symptoms will develop the more serious West Nile encephalitis.
Residents are encouraged to remove all standing water from their property to prepare for mosquito season and prevent infection.