First Positive Mosquito Pool Confirmed in Fairfax County


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12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
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Aug. 8, 2003

 

First Positive Mosquito Pool Confirmed in Fairfax County

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., director of the Fairfax County Health Department, announced today that the state lab in Richmond has confirmed the first positive mosquito pool from Fairfax County. The sample, collected in the Chantilly area, was submitted to the lab on July 29 and is the 341st mosquito sample submitted by the county this year. In addition to this mosquito pool, 10 birds collected from different locations around the county have tested positive for the West Nile virus, indicating that the disease is not confined to any specific area. There have been no human cases of West Nile virus recorded in Fairfax County this year.

Fairfax County actively began mosquito management initiatives for this season in April when crews traveled throughout the county treating potential mosquito breeding areas with a larvicide. In May, a storm drain treatment initiative began and over 66,000 catch basins were treated with a larvicide specific for mosquitoes. A second round of storm drain treatments began in late July and was concluded Aug. 7. A very aggressive mosquito surveillance effort throughout the county is allowing the health department to identify potential areas where the mosquitoes may be infected with the virus. Routine inspections to problematic breeding places are also being conducted to continue to suppress the mosquito population.

"We are now seeing an increase in West Nile virus activity, which means people are at an increased risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito," said Dr. Addo-Ayensu. People should protect themselves from mosquito bites by making sure window and door screens are in good repair, wearing long, loose and light-colored clothing outdoors and using insect repellent containing DEET in accordance with the product instructions.

To further reduce the chances of being bitten, residents should eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites in their yard. "Eliminate standing water by tipping containers and tossing water that has gathered in items like tires, tarps and other containers," Dr. Jorge Arias, Fairfax County environmental health entomologist, said. Arias also encourages residents to change the water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week and clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.

For more information on West Nile virus, log onto the Health Department's page on the Fairfax County Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/FightTheBite.


 

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