September 29, 2019
State officials confirmed a human case of West Nile virus was found in Chester County and is the second human case to test positive for the virus in Pennsylvania.
A person in Chester County has become the second human to test positive for West Nile this year, the Department of Environmental Protection confirmed in a report released on Friday. The first human case was reported in Philadelphia on Sept. 17.
Mosquito samples in six counties tested positive for West Nile, including Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster and Philadelphia. Friday was the last routine surveillance and reporting day for West Nile for 2019.
The numbers for the virus have significantly gone down from the previous year. There were 72 human cases of West Nile in the state and 11 human cases in Philadelphia for 2018.
West Nile has killed a total of 25 people in the U.S. this year, while 543 people have contracted the virus, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
While death is rare from the virus, people aged 50 and older have the highest risk of developing severe symptoms. Most people infected by the virus will not develop any symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms will more than likely experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever. One in 150 will develop symptoms severe enough to cause encephalitis, inflammation of the brain and spine, which can lead to death.
Officials advise that the best way to avoid the West Nile virus is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes altogether. It is advised that individuals wear bug repellant and dump out any standing water, including small dishes or bowls.