The City of Suffolk continues to detect mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) in the Downtown Area of Suffolk. These areas include the North Street Area, Market Street Area, and the neighborhoods of Lakeside and Philadelphia.
Mosquito Control operations have intensified their efforts in these areas as a result of these positive test confirmations. Increased mosquito surveillance, treatment of standing water, catch basins, and evening spray applications for adult mosquitoes are also being administered. Our work has decreased mosquito populations dramatically but virus activity within the remaining population still persists so we urge citizens to continue to exercise extreme caution and take all the preventative measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites while engaging in outdoor activities, especially during the hours of dusk until dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
You can greatly decrease your chances of contracting WNV by protecting yourself from mosquito bites while outdoors by following these recommendations:
- Remain indoors during times of greatest mosquito activity
- The hours of Dusk to Dawn
- Wear loose, long, and light-colored clothing when outdoors
- Use insect repellants containing DEET according to the label instructions.
You can contribute to the efforts of Mosquito Control by eliminating mosquito-breeding areas around your home and neighborhood by following these steps:
- Empty water-holding containers:
- buckets, drums, bottles, tin cans, wheel barrows, potted plant trays, etc.
- Properly dispose of used tires.
- Clear roof gutters, downspouts and corrugated black drainpipes of any water collection.
- Clean wading and swimming pools
- Drain water from tarps
- Place Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water areas around your home which include ditches and low lying areas
Free Mosquito Dunks are available to Suffolk citizens at Suffolk Fire & Rescue Stations 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, the Media & Community Relations office at City Hall, Whaleyville Community Center, East Suffolk Recreation Center, and all Suffolk Public Libraries. In order to get your free Mosquito Dunks you must be 18 years of age or older, have proof of residence in the City of Suffolk, proper picture identification and sign the “Information Sheet” at the respective location. Placing Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water habitats is a common practice used to eliminate mosquito larvae.
It is important to note that Suffolk has never had a confirmed diagnosis of WNV in humans, and equally important that our citizens continue to be diligent in exercising the suggested precautionary measures noted in this release. WNV infected individuals can show no symptoms, mild symptoms, or severe symptoms. According to research, “80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.” Up to 20 percent of the people who exhibit mild symptoms of WNV have flu-like symptoms and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. In the most severe of cases (1 of 150) of WNV individuals will develop severe illness which can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
For more information concerning WNV refer to the following links:
Virginia Department of Health (VDH) http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/Vectorborne/factsheets/westnilevirus.htm
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
For more information about Suffolk Mosquito Control, contact Charles Abadam, Suffolk Mosquito Control Superintendent at [email protected] , or by phone at 757.514.7609.