Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Chesapeake

Posted at 9:00 PM, Sep 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-09 17:33:50-04

Chesapeake, Va. (WTKR) - The Chesapeake Health Department says a significant number of mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus this year.

"When you look at our numbers, we have had more positive this year than this same time last year and that is of concern," Chesapeake Health Department Director Dr. Nancy Welsh told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Tuesday.

One of the species of mosquito carrying West Nile right now in Chesapeake is capable of spreading the disease to humans, according to Welsh.

Heavy downpours Monday that resulted in standing water all over Hampton Roads has also created prime breeding ground for the mosquitoes.

"Eliminating the breeding grounds means eliminating the standing water and it's a lot harder," Dr. Welsh explained.

Crews will continue spraying at night in areas where there has been an increase of positive mosquitoes.

They will also ramp up daytime spraying of breeding sites.

Even though it is now September, Dr. Welsh says there are likely 6-8 more weeks of prime mosquito season left this year.

"Look at the weather. We've got rain. We are providing a nice environment for these mosquitoes to breed in and they aren't just going to say 'bye-bye.' They are going to be here as long as they can breed," she commented.

Officials are asking citizens in Chesapeake to take precautions including using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants at dusk and dawn, making sure there are screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of homes and working to eliminate standing water breeding areas.


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