Mosquitoes test positive for disease

Published 10:37pm Monday, August 5, 2013

Mosquitoes collected in Suffolk by the Mosquito Control Division have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus, the city reported Monday.

Mosquito Control operations are intensifying their efforts in the affected areas. Increased mosquito surveillance, treatment of standing water and evening spray applications for adult mosquitoes are being administered.

No human cases of the two serious diseases have been reported, but horses in Suffolk are commonly found with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, according to the city press release. The Mosquito Control Division urges horse owners to vaccinate their horses for EEE and other insect-transmitted diseases that could affect their animals.

EEE infection in humans is very rare, but it begins with mild flu-like symptoms and progresses into disorientation, seizures, coma, inflammation of the brain and, in the most serious cases, death.

Most people infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms at all. The others may have mild symptoms that resemble the flu, swollen lymph glands, a skin rash on the torso and more. Those with severe illness could develop high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

Mosquitoes that have tested positive for EEE have been found in the neighborhoods of Lake Kennedy, Suburban Woods, Regency Estates, Wonderland Forest, Rivercliff, Arbor Meadows, Dayle Acres, Pughsville, Bennett’s Harbor, Kilby Shores, Kempton Park, Pitchkettle Point, Princeview Point and Olde Mill Creek, as well as neighborhoods around Lamb Avenue, Hosier Road, Clay Hill Road, Leesville and Whaleyville.

Lake Kennedy mosquitoes also tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Citizens can decrease their chances of contracting the diseases by remaining indoors during the times of greatest mosquito activity (one hour before dusk to one hour before dawn), wearing loose, long and light-colored clothing when outdoors and using insect repellants containing DEET.

You can also eliminate mosquito-breeding areas around your home and neighborhood by doing the following:

  • Empty water-holding containers, such as buckets, drums, tires, tin cans, wheelbarrows and potted plant trays.
  • Clear roof gutters, downspouts and corrugated black drainpipes of collected water.
  • Clean wading and swimming pools.
  • Drain water from tarps.
  • Place Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water areas around your home, including ditches and low-lying areas.

Mosquito Dunks are available at each fire station, city hall, Public Works administration and the East Suffolk Recreation Center.

For more information about Suffolk Mosquito Control, call 514-7609.

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