AP NEWS

West Nile Virus detected in human in Allegheny County

July 31, 2018

A mosquito is pictured in this photo provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Nile Virus has been detected in a human in Allegheny County, the Pennsylvania Health Department announced Friday.

If testing confirms the infection, it will be the first human infection found in the state this year, according to a news release.

A man in his 70s living in Penn Hills was bitten in mid-July by a mosquito carrying the virus. The man starting showing symptoms and was hospitalized. He was later released from the hospital and is recovering at home, the Allegheny County Health Department reported. The health department did not disclose the man’s name.

The Department of Environmental Protection has found mosquitoes infected with the virus in 48 counties, underscoring the need for people to take precautions to minimize mosquito bites, according to the release.

“With our recent heavy rains, Pennsylvanians may see an increase in mosquito activity,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said in the release. “There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito-related diseases.”

Allegheny and Westmoreland counties are both listed as high-risk “hot zones” for the virus on a state website.

Infected mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, according to the release. The agencies recommend using DEET repellents, wearing light protective clothing and eliminating standing water where the bugs can breed.

The Allegheny County Health Department was scheduled to spray a pesticide on Thursday or Friday in Pittsburgh’s North Side and West End neighborhoods to kill mosquitoes. Crews were scheduled to spray pesticide Thursday in Mt. Pleasant Borough and Mt. Pleasant Township.

Two cases of West Nile in humans were reported in Allegheny County in 2017 and one was reported in Westmoreland County, according to state data.

AP RADIO
Update hourly