NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A mosquito sample in Norfolk tested positive for West Nile Virus, the Norfolk Department of Public Health announced.
It was collected in the Edgewater/Larchmont neighborhood on September 14 and is the first West Nile activity reported in the city this year.
In response, Norfolk’s Division of Vector Control is taking several measures, including treated storm drains and standing water, and spraying the area with fog.
The virus is spread from mosquitos to people after mosquitos feed on infected birds, the health department says.
Most people infected by West Nile don’t have symptoms, but some people can experience a mild fever, headache, body aches, vomiting or diarrhea.
Serious illness is rare, and includes symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, muscle weakness, confusion, disorientation, paralysis, seizures or coma.
“Death occurs in about 10 percent of persons with serious illness,” the health department says.
The health department says residents can take these preventative steps to protect themselves:
- Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents when outdoors in mosquito-infested areas. Always ensure that you follow directions on the label.
- Wear clothing that is long, light, and loose.
- Home doors and windows should be well-screened to prevent entry of mosquitoes.
- It is important to eliminate mosquito breeding sites from yards by removing old tires, buckets, tubs, toys, and other items that hold rainwater. Dump ornamental containers (e.g., bird baths) on a weekly basis, or use mosquito larvicide pellets or dunks periodically to treat larger containers (e.g., ornamental ponds, stagnant swimming pools).
- Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.
For additional information on mosquito control and surveillance measures, visit: www.norfolk.gov/5321/Mosquito-Control or call the Vector Control Division at (757) 683-2840, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Last month, Suffolk city officials reported that West Nile virus had been detected in mosquitoes collected from the Eclipse area and the neighborhood of North Jericho.