Health officials in Prince William County say mosquitoes collected earlier this month have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
The mosquitoes were collected on July 9 from test areas at the Belmont Pump Station in Woodbridge, Va.
The Prince William Health District (PWHD) says an intensive treatment was performed to kill the adult mosquitoes and breeding larvae in residential areas. They will continue to monitor the area and possibly conduct an adulticide spray based on future trap numbers.
According to PWHD, "West Nile Virus is spread to birds, humans, horses and other mammals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not get sick. People who do get sick usually suffer a mild, flu-like illness. Those older than 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."
The PWHD recommends the following tips 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. Mosquitoes breed and feed in standing water in roof gutters.