Recent samples of mosquitoes collected from the areas of Lawrenceville and Bloomfield in the City of Pittsburgh have tested positive for West Nile virus.
In response, the Allegheny County Health Department will treat those neighborhoods using a truck-mounted, Ultra Low Volume (ULV) sprayer September 14, between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
The treatment is intended to decrease the mosquito population and minimize the risk of transmission of the virus.
In the event of rain, the treatment will take place the following day, on September 15, during the same hours.
The product used will be a mosquito pesticide called Zenivex. It kills adult mosquitoes, but is safe and not harmful to people and pets. It will be released at just 1.5 – 3 ounces per acre and provides excellent knockdown of mosquitoes.
ACHD officials urge the public to protect themselves from mosquitoes by getting rid of standing water in yards and neighborhoods, making sure that open window and doors have screens, using insect repellent on exposed skin and minimizing time spent outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
When used as directed, insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites. The risk of infection is highest for people who work outside or participate in outdoor activities because of greater exposure to mosquitoes.
Complaints regarding properties with stagnant water in tires, unmaintained swimming pools or other water-holding containers can be reported to the Health Department by calling 412-350-4046.
Seventy to 80 percent of people who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms, and are not impacted in any way.
Approximately 20 percent who become infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with these symptoms will recover completely, and can recover on their own.
Less than 1 percent of people infected with the virus will develop severe symptoms of neurologic illness caused by inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. Anyone who believes they, or someone they know, has West Nile virus should consult a healthcare provider for evaluation and diagnosis.This year to date, there have been no human cases of the West Nile virus identified in Allegheny County.
For more information about West Nile virus and the state's surveillance and control program, visit the West Nile Virus website.