Light pollution may be increasing West Nile virus spillover from wild birds

Light pollution may be increasing West Nile virus spillover from wild birds

So far this year no mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Northampton County, however there have been positive mosquito samples collected in lower Bucks County as well as Berks and DE counties within the past few weeks.

The 2019 cases have already eclipsed the total for all of previous year, when AZDHS reported 27 cases of the virus.

Find tips here about what kinds of mosquito repellent to use, and how to apply it.

532 cases of West Nile virus were confirmed in the Province from 2003 to 2018.

Nathan Kush, Environmental Health Specialist, states, "Even though viral activity is low, the presence of West Nile Virus in the area does warrant some attention with mosquitoes".

Shobhit Maruti, AHS's Edmonton zone medical officer of health, said there are three main steps that can be taken to minimize West Nile risk.

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Consider staying indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers at these times, or consider staying indoors during these hours.

While there is no cure for West Nile Virus, the best way to halt the spread of the illness is to attack the source.

Alberta's most common nuisance mosquito species has a population that's closely linked to rainfall, while the development of the mosquito species that carries West Nile is closely linked to heat.

· Remove all standing water near your home, · Empty buckets and pet dishes daily and bird baths on a weekly basis.

Those who are infected with the virus typically have no symptoms or only mild symptoms such as a fever, rash or headache. Those infected mosquitoes then pass the virus to humans when they bite.

Less than 1 percent are stricken with encephalitis or meningitis with symptoms of high fever, mental confusion, tremors, paralysis, coma or death. If the symptoms become severe, he recommends visiting the emergency room.

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