West Nile Virus found in Erie County

Aug 15, 2014

Local residents are being encouraged to take precautions before heading outdoors. That warning issued following the discovery that mosquitoes are once again infected with West Nile Virus.

The state health department has confirmed some mosquitoes in the area are testing positive for the disease.

"We expect to see West Nile Virus in mosquitoes every summer," said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.

"I think it's just a fact of nature right now in our area. And fortunately this summer we've seen it later in mosquitoes than previous summers."  

Burstein says the late return of the disease is likely due to the cooler temperatures the past few months. People can avoid mosquitoes, she says, by staying indoors at dawn and dusk. When heading out she says cover as much skin as possible.

"But you need a good heft dose of DEET that will stay on your skin for several hours," Burstein advised.

"The EPA and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a repellent with a concentration of 25 to 30 percent DEET."

Burstein says residents can also help prevent the spread of the disease by eliminating all pools of standing water where mosquitoes breed. She says so far there have been no reported cases of West Nile in Erie County.