VT Health Dept.: 6 Batches of Mosquitoes in Southern VT Test Positive for West Nile Virus

By Joe Gullo

Published 08/29 2014 02:04PM

Updated 08/29 2014 06:22PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - According to the Vermont Department of Health, six batches of mosquitoes from Rockingham, Brattleboro, Putney, and Newbury test positive for West Nile Virus.

The mosquitoes from Newbury were collected on August 18. Five other batches were collected on August 21. Three of these were from the same site in Rockingham.

“We have not yet seen any cases this year in Vermont, but West Nile virus can cause serious illness in humans,” said Erica Berl, an epidemiologist for the Health Department. “That’s why we urge everyone to take precautions.”

The Health Department says late summer is when the risk of human illness is highest. Symptoms of West Nile virus are often mild, but can include high fever. Approximately 1 percent of people who are infected develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis or meningitis, which can be fatal.

Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites
  • Limit your time outside from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants when outdoors while mosquitoes are biting.
  • Use insect repellents that are labeled as effective against mosquitoes. Use repellents containing no more than 30 percent DEET for adults and children. Do not use DEET on infants younger than 2 months of age.
  • Get rid of standing water, and drain areas where water can pool: rain gutters, wading pools, old tires, etc.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
For more information visit healthvermont.gov, or call the West Nile Virus / EEE Information line 800-913-1139.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.