NORFOLK — The city’s Department of Public Health has detected the first positive tests for Eastern Equine Encephalitis in sentinel chickens and nine mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus in the city.
The Eastern Equine Encephalitis sample was collected near the 1000 block of Indian River Road. The Vector Control Division dispatched crews to those areas and fogged Berkeley/Campostella neighborhoods, according to a news release from the city.
Officials said “mosquito control and surveillance measures will continue in those neighborhoods.”
Pools of mosquito collected from the Fairmont Park, Lafayette Shores, Norfolk Industrial Park and Edgewater areas have all yielded positive results for West Nile virus.
Vector Control has already fogged some of those areas. Fogging will continue this week and next week, weather permitting, along with storm drain treatments, larviciding and backyard inspections, officials said.
“Norfolk residents especially persons over age 50, should take action to prevent and protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne illnesses such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus, which is spread to birds, humans, horses, and other mammals through the bite of an infected mosquito,” said Norman Grefe, environmental health manager.
Most people bitten do not get sick. People who do, usually suffer a mild flu-like illness. Those over age 50 are at greatest risk of serious illness, such as encephalitis (e.g., inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (e.g., inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
The Virginia Department of Health recommends the following tips to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:
- Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
- If possible, limit outdoor exposure between dusk and dawn.
- Check window and door screens to ensure that mosquitoes cannot enter your home.
- Use insect repellants with DEET according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Turn over or remove containers in your yard where water collects, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets and toys.
- Eliminate standing water on tarps or flat roofs.
- Clean out birdbaths, wading pools and swimming pools.
- Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.
Norfolk Department of Public Health maintains a mosquito hotline for residents by calling 757-683-2914, option #4.
For information about mosquito control and surveillance measures, call the Vector Control Division at 757-683-2840, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.