Six mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Berks

5:30pm Updated

The Door County Public Health Department was notified that a dead crow found in Door County on July 19 tested positive for West Nile virus.

No new samples of mosquitoes positive for West Nile were reported in either Northampton or Lehigh counties August 15, however mosquitoes in the city of Bethlehem, the city of Allentown, Upper Saucon Township and other Lehigh Valley municipalities have tested positive this summer. You can only get West Nile Virus if you are bitten by a mosquito that has bitten an infected bird.

Wednesday other areas had mosquito traps that tested positive for West Nile Virus as well.

The first case of West Nile arrived early this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, residents in areas where virus activity has been identified can be at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

Dr. Levin says that those worrying about spooky-sounding viruses such as swine flu and West Nile shouldn't, unless the viruses begin to exhibit certain characteristics.

 Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water on your property.

 Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.

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Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours.

Find tips here about what kinds of repellent to use and how to apply it.

 Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.

 Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Window screens should be kept tight, the town said.

- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.

The county utilizes 54 so-called sentinel chickens, birds placed in strategic areas of the county that are tested every two weeks for the West Nile virus.

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