Chesapeake reports increasing West Nile Virus activity

Health

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Chesapeake Health Department officials have confirmed increasing activity of the West Nile Virus (WNV). It’s been detected by the Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission that mosquitos are testing higher than normal this summer.

Chesapeake Mosquito Control Director Lisa Wagenbrenner says activities such as watering lawns, washing cars as well as sporadic thunderstorms are creating breeding habitats for mosquitoes.

The West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and can affect a person’s nervous system. Infected individuals can experience mild forms such as fevers, headaches as well as muscle aches. Severe cases of WNV can lead to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death.

Officials from the Chesapeake Health Department are urging residents to take precautions to protect themselves.

The Chesapeake Health Department has several guidelines to help residents protect themselves from the virus:

  • Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellant containing an EPA- registered active ingredient.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Have screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Clean roof gutters and downspout screens
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding areas by turning over or emptying items in yards such as bird baths, flower pots, buckets and barrels.
  • If you are unable to get rid of standing water, put larvicide in the water to kill developing mosquitoes.

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