SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two rare but potentially serious diseases have been detected in Hampton Roads mosquitoes.
In Suffolk, some mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
Mosquitoes collected in the Riverview, North Street and Dumville Lane areas have tested positive for West Nile, according to Suffolk officials. Mosquitoes that tested positive for EEE were found around Cove Point and Lamb Avenue.
Officials say citizens in those areas should take the necessary actions to protect themselves while engaging in outdoor activities.
About 4 out of 5 of those infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms at all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Extreme symptoms that can occur include: stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness or paralysis.
As for eastern equine encephalitis, it is a rare human disease that affects 5 to 10 humans annually in the United States. No human cases of EEE have ever been reported in Suffolk.
The EEE infection begins with mild flu-like symptoms, progresses into disorientation, seizures, coma and encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain). The CDC says a third of cases result in death, and many that survive will have mild to severe brain damage.
You can greatly decrease your chances of contracting these mosquito transmitted diseases by protecting yourself by following these recommendations:
– Remain indoors during times of greatest mosquito activity (1 hour before dusk to 1 hour before dawn)
– Wear loose, long and light-colored clothing when outdoors
– Use insect repellant containing DEET according to the label instructions.
You can contribute to the efforts of Mosquito Control Operations by eliminating mosquito-breeding areas around your home by removing unnecessary stagnant water: bird baths, tires, puddles, bowls, etc.
In order to get your free mosquito dunks to place near stagnant water you must be:
– 18 years of age or older
– have proof of residence in the City of Suffolk
– provide proper picture identification
Suffolk Fire & Rescue Stations 1-10, the Media & Community Relations Department at City Hall, Whaleyville Community Center, East Suffolk Recreation Center and all three Suffolk Public Libraries are all participants.
For more Information, you can contact Charles Abadam, Suffolk Mosquito Control’s superintendent, at email@example.com or 757.514.7609.