VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – There has been a rise in West Nile Virus activity in some parts of the city, according to the Virginia Beach Mosquito Control.
Tests were conducted throughout the city since June, with officials confirming some of the collected mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV.
The positive results were recorded in these three areas:
Oxford Drive in the Kings Grant neighborhood
North Witchduck Road in the Kempsville area
Constitution Drive in the Pembroke area
The samples were collected on June 25 – epi-week 26, and these areas have historically had WNV positives, Jennifer Barritt, biologist with VB Mosquito Control, said in a press release.
The primary vector of WNV in this region is Cx. pipiens / restuans, which breeds in water with a higher organic content. This means VB Mosquito Control will focus on stagnant water, such as ditches and other standing water areas. Night-time spraying efforts are being increased as well.
WNV is an uncommon viral disease that is spread to birds, humans and other mammals through bite. Most humans infected with WNV have no symptoms, but some have mild flu-like symptoms and a small number developing more serious neurological disorders. Anyone over the age of 50 or with immune system disorders are at a greater risk of serious illness caused by WNV.
Citizens are urged to wear insect repellent when outside.
The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health advises residents and visitors to take necessary precautions to avoid mosquitoes:
- Wear long, loose and light colored clothing
- Use insect repellent products registered with the EPA. No more than 50 percent DEET for adults, and less than 30 percent DEET for children. Follow all label instructions
- Turn over or remove containers in your yard where rainwater collects
- Clean birdbaths and wading pools weekly
- Check window and door screens so mosquitoes cannot enter home