Philly health department: wetter weather, more mosquitoes led to West Nile infections

Eleven cases have been confirmed, none fatal.

Mark Abrams
September 24, 2018 - 7:12 am

Kalle Taavo/


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia health officials are confirming nearly a dozen cases of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus so far this year.

The health department says 11 cases have been confirmed here in the city, and none has been fatal.

Wetter than normal conditions and lots of standing water are blamed for a rise in the mosquito population and spread of the potentially deadly disease.

West Nile is passed by infected mosquitoes biting people.

Health officials say the majority of people infected by the virus don't develop any symptoms. However, one in five can come down with a fever and flu-like symptons.

In some cases, the virus can cause a life-threatening inflammation of the spinal cord and brain.

Health officials have been spraying for mosquitoes this past summer and urge residents to check for standing water and dump it out.

They advise emptying water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, cans, and any other items outside your home.

All are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

And, finally, if you venture outside at dawn, in the early evening or dusk, wear insect repellent because these are the times when mosquitoes are most active.