One human case of West Nile virus in York County was confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Friday, bringing the state's total number of human cases to 16.
On Tuesday, the state also confirmed one case of West Nile virus in a horse in York County, said Tom Smith, West Nile virus coordinator for Penn State Cooperative Extension.
No human cases of West Nile were confirmed by the state last year, Smith said, but that does not mean there were none.
"We know from experience that there have always been human cases," said Smith.
The West Nile virus is reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health by physicians or veterinarians for confirmation, he said.
"If anyone is diagnosed with West Nile, they are welcome to call our office and we will gladly do mosquito surveillance in those areas," Smith said.
Otherwise, they have no way of knowing where the cases are based, because the state does not report the exact
location of the cases of the virus.
To avoid contracting West Nile, avoid spending time outside in the evening hours, Smith said.
"If you are going to be out, we recommend wearing long sleeve pants and shirts and an insect repellant," he said.
Taking a fan outside to keep air circulating can also deter mosquitoes from biting you, said Smith.
The ultimate defense against West Nile is cleaning up your property so there are no areas where water can be collected, he said. With all of the recent storms coming through York County, it should be even easier to identify these areas, Smith added.
For information about reducing mosquitoes in York County, call the Penn State Cooperative Extension York County West Nile Program office at 840-2375.
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at email@example.com.