Probable cases of West Nile found in 2 Pittsburgh residents

October 6, 2018

The Allegheny County Health Department reported probable cases of the West Nile Virus were detected in two more people in the county.

The cases are the fourth and fifth reported this year, according to the health department.

One person lives Pittsburgh’s Morningside neighborhood. The other is from the city’s Point Breeze neighborhood.

Both are over the age of 55 and are recovering, according to the county health department.

West Nile Virus is most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. Cases occur mostly during mosquito season, which runs April through November. It is not transmitted from person-to-person.

The virus has been regularly found in Allegheny County since 2002. There were six reported cases from 2013-2017.

The public can protect themselves from mosquitoes by doing the following things:

• Getting rid of standing water in yards and neighborhoods

• Making sure open windows and doors have screens

• Using insect repellent on exposed skin

• Minimizing time spent outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active

• Cutting back hedges, shrubs and other greenery where mosquitoes can find shelter

Mosquitoes breed in catch basins, artificial containers, and other sources of stagnant water in urban and suburban backyards, the health department said. So, removing standing water on a resident’s property is their best defense against mosquitoes.

Complaints regarding properties with stagnant water in tires, unmaintained swimming pools or other water-holding containers can be reported to the health department by calling 412-350-4046.

Anyone who believes they, or someone they know, has West Nile virus, should consult their healthcare provider for evaluation and diagnosis.

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