The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 30, 2012

Mosquito control efforts begin in region

NORTHUMBERLAND — The Department of Environmental Protection will apply treatments to control adult mosquito populations on Tuesday in portions of Northumberland Borough and Point Township, Northumberland County.

The effort is part of Pennsylvania’s continuing, but diminishing effort to track and combat a virus, which can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.

No people have been diagnosed with West Nile in Pennsylvania this year. Last year, seven people were sickened by the illness. The first case did not come to light until Aug. 31, state date shows.  The last time a Valley resident was diagnosed with West Nile virus was in September, 2007.

West Nile has not been blamed for a death in Pennsylvania since 2008.

Pennsylvania plans to spend $3.8 million tracking and combatting the spread of West Nile virus, said Lisa Kasianowitz, a DEP spokeswoman said. Northumberland, Snyder, Union and Montour counties are among a group of 16 counties monitored by DEP because they are considered high risk for West Nile, though the virus has only turned up in Northumberland County, thus far in 2012.  Of the $3.8 million, $2.1 million in West Nile spending is in the form of special block grants funded by the Legislature to continue providing West Nile monitoring in 26 counties in addition to identified by DEP as being at-risk.

For more details, see Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Item.

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