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Mosquito samples test positive for West Nile virus in Norfolk neighborhood

West Nile virus symptoms are similar to COVID-19 at first, experts say
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 03, 2022

NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk has detected the first Wile Nile virus activity of the season.

According to the Norfolk Department of Public Health, two mosquito samples have tested positive for the West Nile virus. Both samples were collected in the Colonial Place neighborhood on June 30.

The Division of Vector Control is conducting mosquito control operations in this neighborhood, including treatments of storm drains, and standing water, fogging operations, and continued surveillance activities.

West Nile Virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes can become infected by feeding on infected birds. Health officials say most people infected by the virus do not have any symptoms.

When the virus develops into illness, symptoms can include a mild fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, or diarrhea. Serious illness is rare, but more severe symptoms can occur including high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, muscle weakness, confusion, disorientation, paralysis, seizures, or coma.

Health officials say death occurs in about 10% of persons with serious illness.

Residents are advised to take these preventive steps to help protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents when outdoors in mosquito-infested areas. Always ensure that you follow directions on the label.
  • Wear clothing that is long, light, and loose.
  • Home doors and windows should be well-screened to prevent entry of mosquitoes. 
  • It is important to eliminate mosquito breeding sites from yards by removing old tires, buckets, tubs, toys and other items that hold rainwater. Dump ornamental containers (e.g., bird baths) on a weekly basis, or use mosquito larvicide pellets or dunks periodically to treat larger containers (e.g., ornamental ponds, stagnant swimming pools).
  • Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.