West Nile Virus is the leading disease carried by mosquitos in the continental United States. It is spread through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. In turn, the mosquito can pass the virus to humans.
Each summer, Four Corners participates in the West Nile Virus Surveillance Program. Three locations across York County are identified as an ideal location to collect mosquitos. Every two weeks from June until the first frost in the fall they are collected. Three traps are hung overnight and picked up in the morning. The mosquitos that are collected are shipped to the DHHS entomology lab. There each mosquito is identified by species. These mosquitos are then tested for diseases including West Nile Virus.
The best way to prevent West Nile Virus is to take steps to protect ourselves from mosquito bites. People can “fight the bite” to reduce their risk of getting West Nile Virus by:
- Using insect repellant that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks when outdoors
- Taking extra precautions when going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
- Removing mosquito breeding sites, such as standing water in garbage cans, gutters, ditches, wading pools, tires, flowerpots, or similar water-holding containers. Change water in bird baths on a regular basis
- Adding larvicides (in the form of pellets, dunks, or donuts to kill mosquito larvae) which can be purchased at most hardware, farm or gardening centers, to animal drinking troughs, water gardens, ornamental fountains, ditches and ponds
- Checking to make sure window and door screens are in good repair
For questions or to learn more, call Four Corners at 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find Four Corners Health Department on Facebook and YouTube! Follow us on Instagram or Twitter @FC_HealthDept.