West Nile Virus Found In Mosquito From Potter County

Officials say no cause for alarm

Potter County Today

State officials confirmed last week that a mosquito carrying the West Nile virus was found in Potter County in late August. They emphasized that the discovery is no cause for alarm, but it did trigger additional surveillance that so far has found no other evidence of the virus. State funding for county-operated comprehensive mosquito population monitoring activities expired earlier this year.

Nationwide, 26 West Nile human cases have been reported across the country, with half of these in Arizona. In 2009, there were 720 West Nile human cases and 32 deaths reported nationwide.

The majority who are infected typically have only symptoms similar to a mild flu, if they show any signs at all. Cooler temperatures reduce the risk. Public health officials said people should take common-sense precautions against mosquito bites. These include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors in mosquito-prone areas, applying insect repellent, and avoiding mosquito-infested areas.

To reduce mosquito-breeding, people should drain or remove items that collect water, such as buckets, birdbaths, tires, flower pot liners, clogged rain gutters and unused swimming pools.

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