Schuylkill Township recently received information from the Chester County Health Department regarding West Nile Virus and the department’s “dead bird” program.
The Chester County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health know from the bird surveillance in 2000-2002 that the West Nile Virus is a disease found in most counties, including all of Southeastern Pennsylvania. These departments are glad that citizens are aware of the presence of this disease.
It is also important to not allow water to remain in containers, birdbaths, tires, or pool covers for longer than 48-72 hours. Mosquitoes prefer to breed in still water, regardless of how small a collection. Also, it is still important to stay inside, when possible, at dawn and/or dusk; and if outside, to use a mosquito repellant and to wear long sleeves and pants.
A clinical trial evaluating an experimental treatment for patients infected with West Nile virus (WNV) has begun enrolling volunteers at 36 sites nationwide, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health, announced today. This study is part of a larger effort by NIAID to develop new ways to prevent and treat the disease. For more information, go to the NIAID Newsroom web site.
West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus can cause West Nile Encephalitis, which can cause swelling of the brain and has the potential to be fatal. However, most people who do contract the disease recover.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. If you have any buckets, kiddie pools, or other items that may collect water, dump them. Also, keeping gutters and spouting clear of leaves which can collect water will help reduce the number of mosquitoes.
The Chester County Health Department (CCHD) has prepared an informational flyer. Residents can obtain a copy by sending an e-mail to the Township giving their mailing address.
The CCHD is working with municipalities to identify possible places where mosquitoes can breed. The Department has a program to visit these identified places and test for the type of mosquito larva that carries the virus. Residents can notify the township (via e-mail) and CCHD of any possible breeding sites, including stormwater facilities at new developments, that residents are concerned about.
Additional information on West Nile Virus is available at the web sites listed in the margin.