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August 30, 2016

Human case of West Nile found in Chester County

Chester County has identified its first human case of West Nile virus this year, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection announced

It's the fifth human case of the virus in the state in 2016 but the first for a Philadelphia suburb. The department also announced that two people were found with West Nile in Northampton and York counties.

Earlier this year, two other people were identified with the virus in Philadelphia and Indiana counties.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a vast majority – about 80 percent – of people who contract the virus don't develop symptoms and that 1 in 5 people can develop headaches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or rashes.

While there is no vaccine for West Nile, less than 1 percent of people will develop neurological issues, seizures or paralysis – some of the most serious symptoms, according to the CDC.

The best way to prevent an encounter with a mosquito that might be carrying the disease is to get rid of any stagnant water, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The department also said that buying Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis – a type of bacteria that can kill mosquitos and is more commonly know as BTI or "mosquito dunk" – can help, too.

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