Centre County wins grant to combat West Nile

Centre County has been awarded a $42,548 grant to combat mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus, according to a news release from state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven.

Hanna said in the release that the state Department of Environmental Protection last year detected 1,213 mosquito samples, 28 avian specimens, two horses and 11 humans infected with the virus in Pennsylvania.

The virus can cause West Nile fever and encephalitis in humans, and that could lead to death. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito won’t develop symptoms, and only 1 in 150 people with symptoms will develop the more serious West Nile encephalitis.

Hanna said the grant will be used to cover the costs of surveying and controlling mosquitoes that carry the virus. Last year, spraying programs were conducted throughout the county.

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