Woodbridge Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Mosquitoes collected in Woodbridge during the month of June 2012 by the Prince William Mosquito Control Program have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
Mosquito testing is used to determine periods of greater risk of contracting West Nile Virus. The wide occurrence of positive mosquitoes indicates there is an increased risk of contracting the virus across Prince William County. Mosquitoes will continue to be trapped and tested regularly from sites throughout Prince William County. The County’s Mosquito Control Program has performed intensive treatment in the vicinity of the positive mosquito pools to kill adult and larval mosquitoes, and will continue larval control throughout the County and possibly conduct an adulticide spray based on future positive trap numbers.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is endemic in this region. Residents play a big role in disease prevention by paying special attention to eliminating mosquito breeding areas around homes and to protecting themselves from mosquito bites while outside from now until the first hard frost.
“Since most of the mosquito species that residents need to control breed in standing water within a few hundred feet of their residence, control measures around the home are the most effective way to prevent mosquito breeding and to reduce the risk from bites,” said Prince William Health District Director Dr. Alison Ansher.
West Nile Virus spreads to birds, humans, horses and other mammals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people do not get sick. People who do get sick usually suffer a mild, flu-like illness. Those over age 50 are at greatest risk of serious illness, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Very few people who contract the virus suffer from these more severe symptoms. There was one confirmed human case of West Nile Virus disease reported in Prince William County in 2011.
The Prince William Health District recommends the following to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:
• Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
• Use insect repellent products with no more than 50 percent DEET for adults and less than 10 percent for children. Follow label instructions when using insect repellents.
• Turn over or remove containers in your yard where any water may collect, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets, and toys.
• Eliminate any standing water in yards or on tarps or flat roofs.
• Chlorinate or clean out birdbaths and wading pools every three to five days.
• Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Virginia Department of Health website at vdh.virginia.gov. For questions about mosquito control spraying, contact Prince William Gypsy Moth & Mosquito Control at 703-792-6279.