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July 23, 2019

West Nile virus shows up in Allentown

13th detection of the disease in mosquitoes this season in Pennsylvania, but no human cases

Illness Mosquitoes
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The state expects to see increased West Nile activity as the season progresses

West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne disease, was detected in the Lehigh Valley in a recent test.

The virus was found in a specimen from Allentown, according to the Lehigh/Northampton County Mosquito Borne Disease Control Program and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Vector Management, which monitor for such diseases, The Morning Call reports.

West Nile virus, the number one mosquito-borne disease in the United States, is generally spread to humans via a bite from an infected mosquito, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most humans who contract the virus don’t experience any symptoms.

RELATED READ: Travelers should know diseases of concern at summer destinations

A total of 13 mosquitos has tested positive for the virus across Pennsylvania so far this year, the Morning Call reports, though no human cases have been reported.

In New Jersey, however, West Nile virus was diagnosed in a Hunterdon County resident in early July. It was the first human case in the state this season. 

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent West Nile virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites by using repellents, protective clothing and limit pooling of water, where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

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