HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from the City of Hermitage in Mercer County, according to the Mercer County Conservation District.

Businesses and residents located in Hermitage, near Broadway Road and Lynnwood Drive, should take extra precautions such as applying insect repellant and wearing long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk and dawn.

All businesses and residents should reduce mosquito breeding habitats by eliminating standing water, such as bird baths, discarded tires, or any other containers capable of retaining standing water.

Last month, West Nile Virus was also detected in mosquitos in Grove City and the City of Sharon. Mosquitoes carrying the virus were also found in Mahoning County.

The virus is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes and causes the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Rash on chest, stomach or back

Approximately 80% of people who are infected with the West Nile virus will not show any symptoms at all. Those who do develop symptoms will have them between two and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.

About one in 150 people infected with the West Nile virus will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms may last several weeks, and neurologic effects may be permanent. Symptoms of severe illness can include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Stupor
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss
  • Numbness
  • Paralysis

West Nile virus infection can only be diagnosed by a healthcare provider by laboratory testing. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection. More information can be found on the Department of Health’s website.

The best protection against mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile Virus, is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Tips to avoid possible mosquito bites include:

  • If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.
  • Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.

Tips to eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:

  • Remove water-holding containers, such as tin cans and unused flowerpots.
  • Eliminate standing water.
  • Make sure all roof gutters are properly draining and clean.
  • Keep children’s wading pools empty and, on their sides, when they are not being used.