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More Samples Test Positive For West Nile, Pesticide Spraying Scheduled For Thursday Night

Jim Stauffer
West Nile Virus is most commonly spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

The Allegheny County Health Department will spray select areas with pesticide Thursday evening, following recent samples of mosquitos that tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The health department has already sprayed twice this summer. This time the pesticide the will be released in the neighborhoods of Hazelwood, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Mt. Washington and Beltzhoover.

Zenivex E20 kills adult mosquitos, but the health department said it isn’t harmful to humans or pets.

West Nile can cause neurological issues and is sometimes fatal. Symptoms can include fever, disorientation, and neck pain.

The disease is not contagious and is most commonly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a small number of cases it can also be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding, blood transfusion or exposure in a laboratory setting. 

To avoid being bitten, public health officials advise people to get rid of standing water and wear insect repellant when outdoors.

Last month, a Penn Hills man in his 70s was the first Pennsylvania resident diagnosed with West Nile in 2018. He was reportedly hospitalized after exhibiting symptoms, but has been discharged and is recovering.

This year West Nile has been found in 54 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties

(Photo Credit: Jim Stauffer/Flickr )