NORFOLK, VA –The Norfolk Department of Public Health has detected the first West Nile Virus (WNV) activity of the season in the city of Norfolk. Two mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus. The first sample was collected on July 16,, 2021 in the River Oaks neighborhood with the second being collected on July 20, 2021 in the Campostella section of the city. The Division of Vector Control has conducted fogging operations in these neighborhoods and surrounding areas, and are continuing storm drain treatments, larviciding, and other control and surveillance operations.
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% 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.
- 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.
Norfolk Department of Public Health maintains a mosquito fogging hotline that lists neighborhoods scheduled for service: 757-683-2712, option #4. For additional information pertaining to mosquito control and surveillance measures, call the Vector Control Division at (757) 683-2840, weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.