West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes at two Henrico locations

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HENRICO, Va. – West Nile virus has been detected in Henrico County, officials confirmed. County officials said they will be inspecting roadside ditches and pipes within the county right of way.

Randy Buchannan, with the Henrico Department of Public Works/Engineering and Environmental Services Division, confirmed there was a case in "Central Henrico" and said that they do not pinpoint locations by neighborhoods. A resident in the Lakeside area posted the notice they received from county and other neighbors confirmed they had received the same letter.

Buchannan said there were two separate incidents in Henrico where West Nile has been detected. Around 3,000 residents total were notified in the two incidents. Buchannan did not specify where the other confirmed case occurred. Residents will be or have been notified.

Multiple traps were set earlier this summer, and the mosquitoes checked for West Nile. If there is a positive result officials will trap in the same area multiple times to verify the first results, Buchannan said.

An area in Henrico County where some residents reported receiving a letter about West Nile Virus

Only after the second and possibly third times do they send notices to residents in the area.

Buchannan said that mosquitos are a little more active this year. He said that is not a cause for panic, but encouraged residents to be aware.  He referenced a program called “Pick A Day To Fight The Bite.”

It encourages residents to take one day a week to check for standing water around the house.

Letter received by Lakeside resident

Suggestions made in the letter sent to residents included using a repellent, avoid peak mosquito times, wear appropriate clothing, mosquito proof your home, and encourage neighbors to do the same.

The county said that for most people, the risk of contracting West Nile virus is low. Less than one-percent of people bitten by an infected mosquito develop any symptoms of the disease.

According to the CDC, about one to five people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

The CDC said that one in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

Read more about the symptoms here. 

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