(NORFOLK, Va.) – The Norfolk Department of Public Health detected the first West Nile Virus (WNV) activity of the season in the City of Norfolk. One mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile virus. The sample was collected in the Edgewater/Larchmont neighborhood on Sept. 14. The Division of Vector Control is conducting mosquito control operations in this neighborhood, including treatments of storm drains and standing water, conducting fogging operations, and continuing surveillance activities.
West Nile Virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, and then spread WNV to people and animals by biting them. Most people infected by WNV do not have any symptoms. When WNV develops into illness, symptoms can include a mild fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, or diarrhea. Serious illness is rare, but more severe symptoms can occur including high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, muscle weakness, confusion, disorientation, paralysis, seizures, or coma. Death occurs in about 10 percent of persons with serious illness.
Residents are advised to take these preventive steps to help protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne illnesses:
- Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellents when outdoors in mosquito-infested areas. Always ensure that you follow directions on the label.
- Wear clothing that is long, light, and loose.
- Home doors and windows should be well-screened to prevent entry of mosquitoes.
- It is important to eliminate mosquito breeding sites from yards by removing old tires, buckets, tubs, toys, and other items that hold rainwater. Dump ornamental containers (e.g., bird baths) on a weekly basis, or use mosquito larvicide pellets or dunks periodically to treat larger containers (e.g., ornamental ponds, stagnant swimming pools).
- Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.
For additional information on mosquito control and surveillance measures, visit: www.norfolk.gov/5321/Mosquito-Control or call the Vector Control Division at (757) 683-2840, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.