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West Nile Virus Detected in Cumberland County

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has confirmed the first case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a mosquito sample from South Middleton Township Park in Cumberland County. The local Vector Control Office was alerted about the positive test on Monday.

WNV is transmitted to humans and other animals through mosquito bites, with mosquitoes contracting the virus from infected birds. The virus cannot be spread directly between people. Preventive measures include using mosquito repellent, covering exposed skin, and removing stagnant water from areas to reduce mosquito breeding.

John Bitner, Cumberland County Chief of Vector Control, stated that the area will be continuously monitored, especially potential water habitats, to control the mosquito population. According to a Cumberland County press release, about 20% of people infected with WNV develop symptoms such as fever, aches, skin rashes, and swollen lymph nodes, with less than 1% of cases progressing to the severe and potentially fatal West Nile Encephalitis.

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