SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – The third case of West Nile virus has been detected in Sharon, according to a news release from the Mercer County Conservation District.
Monitoring and control efforts will be conducted this week as a result.
At this time, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Mercer County, but the virus is most commonly spread through the bite of a mosquito.
Businesses and residents located near the Budd Street Bridge should take extra precautions, such as applying insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk and dawn. All businesses and residents should reduce mosquito breeding habitat by eliminating standing water, according to the Conservation District.
The agency also gave the following tips for preventing mosquito bites and reducing the number of mosquitoes around the home:
- Insect repellants with DEET can be applied as directed to exposed skin and thin clothing.
- Stay indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active. If you must go outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug-tight.”
- Mosquitoes are repelled by high winds, so electric fans may provide some relief at outdoor events.
- Get rid of standing water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
- Dispose of any refuse that can hold water—such as tin cans, containers and used tires.
- Products such as “mosquito dunks” can be obtained from garden centers.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers and check uncovered junk piles.
- Clean clogged roof gutters every year. Check storm drains, leaky faucets and window wells.
- Empty accumulated water from wheelbarrows, boats, cargo trailers, toys and ceramic pots. If possible, turn them over when not using them.
- Do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths, ornamental pools, water gardens and swimming areas.
The following are the signs and symptoms of West Nile virus:
- About one in 150 infected people will develop severe illness. Associated symptoms can include blindness, disorientation, coma, convulsions, headache, high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, numbness, paralysis, stupor and tremors. These symptoms may last for several weeks, and the neurological effects may be permanent.
- Up to 20% of infected people will have symptoms such as fever, head and body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last from a few days to several weeks.
- Approximately 80% of people who are infected will not show any symptoms.
- While not common, people who develop severe illnesses affecting the central nervous system may die.
Those with symptoms or questions regarding potential symptoms should contact their healthcare providers.