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Mosquito tests positive for West Nile Virus in Centre County

Here’s how West Nile is spread — and what symptoms to look for after a mosquito bite

West Nile Virus can be deadly — but only one in five people who are infected by a mosquito bite will develop any symptoms, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Here's what to look for.
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West Nile Virus can be deadly — but only one in five people who are infected by a mosquito bite will develop any symptoms, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Here's what to look for.

A mosquito tested positive for West Nile Virus in Centre County.

Ferguson Township posted an alert on Tuesday, informing residents that the mosquito was collected on Dry Hollow Road. WNV is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus is most commonly spread by individuals being bitten by an infected mosquito, reports the CDC.

Most people, eight in 10, who are infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms. Some individuals may develop a fever and experience headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting or rash, according to the CDC. More serious symptoms, which are experienced by about one in 150 people, include inflammation of the brain or meningitis.

According to the CDC, about one out of 10 people who develop severe symptoms die from the virus. Recovery may last for several weeks or months.

Testing for WNV begins in April and runs through September in Pennsylvania, according to Ferguson Township.

The county operates a testing program which is managed by the County Planning and Community Development Office. Licensed personnel trap adult mosquitoes throughout the local area and send them to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. If a mosquito tests positive or a large number of species capable of infecting humans, breeding areas will be treated with pesticides.

Residents are advised to eliminate sources of standing water like swimming pools, decorative ponds, poorly functioning roof gutters and used tires, reports the township.

In 2018, Centre County had 90 positive tests for WNV, including 18 from birds, 57 from mosquitoes and 11 from horses. There were four human cases in the county. In Pennsylvania, there were 7,198 positive tests on insects and animals and 130 human cases were reported statewide.

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