First Case of West Nile Virus Mosquito Sample Found in Cumberland County

Cumberland County’s Vector Control Office was today notified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of one positive mosquito sample for West Nile Virus  (WNV). The positive sample was collected at South Middleton Township Park. This is the first positive WNV sample in the county for 2024.

“We will continue to monitor this area, and survey for potential water habitats,” said John Bitner, Cumberland County Chief of Vector Control. “We will utilize mosquito control throughout the county when needed.”

Residents can help prevent the diseases spread by mosquitos by:
▪ Using mosquito repellants, wearing longs sleeved shirts and pants.
▪ Taking extra precautions around dusk, the peak of female mosquito feeding.
▪ Securing window and doors screens, so mosquitos can’t make it into your home.
▪ Eliminating stagnate water around your property.
▪ Treating water sources that cannot be drained, mosquito dunks or bits that contain

Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which kills larvae. These products are safe for use around humans, and pets and can be found at hardware stores and other local retailers.
Mosquitoes transmit WNV by feeding on infected birds and transmit the disease when biting another bird, animal, or human. The county’s WNV program applies an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan to control mosquitoes, while limiting the effects to people and the environment.

Vector Control will continue to collect and monitor the mosquito population and to actively treat water habitat to limit future generations of mosquitoes.

The virus is not spread by person-to-person contact. One in five people infected with WNV develop a mild infection called West Nile Fever; aches, fever, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes are symptoms of this infection. With rest and fluids, most people recover in a few days. Less than one percent of infections develop into the life-threatening West Nile Encephalitis. Symptoms in severe cases include a high fever, headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, disorientation, tremors, and convulsions. This infection requires immediate medical treatment.