Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2002 WNV Archive

Important Information
Regarding West Nile Virus
2002 Archive Information


as  of    NOVEMBER  1,  2002


 Surveillance  Type     #Collected     #Tested      #Positives

 DEAD  BIRDS                                 43                        39                     20

MOSQUITO  SAMPLES                2258                    1362                   84

VET SAMPLES                                 1                           1                        1

HUMANS                                                                                                     2

Mosquitoes identified at Lab  (individual)          46,477

Mosquito Species identified                              37


Anthony Township                                                         1

Armstrong Township                                                     1

Brady Township                      1

Eldred Township                                                            3

Gamble Township                                                          1

Hepburn Township                 1

Jersey Shore Borough                                                   2

Lewis Township                                                              1

Limestone Township               1

Loyalsock Township                9                                    20

Mifflin Township                                                              7

Moreland Township                1

Muncy Creek Township                                                  5

Old Lycoming Township         1                                       6

Porter Township                                                              6

South Williamsport                  2

Washington Township                                                     8

Williamsport City                      4                                     23

Woodward Township                                                     1

     Not Available                                                                                        1 (horse)

                                   ____                ___                 ___

          TOTAL                20                    85                     1

 Prepared by:   Les Gruver, Lycoming County WNV Coordinator,  
570-433-4461 Ext. 132


October 23, 2002 - Today, DEP announced another human "positive" case of West Nile Virus in Lycoming County. This is a 48 year old female. This is the second human case in Lycoming County with the previous case being a 65 year old female reported on October 4, 2002. This brings the total human "positives" to 57 throughout the Commonwealth. Six have died from WNV, all being over 70 years of age.



as  of

OCTOBER 4,  2002


Surveillance  Type    # Collected     # Tested     # Positives

 DEAD  BIRDS                               43                         30                     15

 MOSQUITO  SAMPLES               2157                   1058                  56

 VET SAMPLES                             1                           1                        1

 HUMANS                                                                                                     1

Mosquitoes identified at Lab  (individual)          45,601

Mosquito Species identified                                                   37


Anthony Township                                                     1

Armstrong Township                                                 1

Eldred Township                                                        3

Limestone Township             1

Loyalsock Township               9                                 14

Mifflin Township                                                          5

Muncy Creek Township                                              3

Old Lycoming Township        1                                   4

Porter Township                                                         3

Washington Township                                                3

Williamsport City                     4                                  16

Woodward Township                                                  1

Not Available                                                                1

(horse)                                                                                                         1

                                 ____                 ___                 ___

TOTAL                         15                    57                     1

Prepared by:   Les Gruver, Lycoming County WNV Coordinator,   570-433-4461 Ext. 132...

 October 4, 2002Human Case of West Nile Virus Is First Positive in LYCOMING, Jefferson, and Erie Counties

State Health Department officials today reported the first West Nile virus positive for Jefferson County for 2002. The first positive is a human case in a 61-year-old man.

Two other human cases were reported today, a 45-year-old woman in Erie County, and a 65-year-old woman in Lycoming County.

Today's positive report in Jefferson County brings the total number of counties where positive samples have been reported to 63 this year. Only Elk, Cameron, Fulton, and Carbon Counties have reported no positive tests so far this year.


September 19, 2002 - The following information is from CDC regarding the MMWR and West Nile information.

This is an official CDC HAN Info Service Message Distributed via the HAN Info Service September 19, 2002, 15:58 EDT (03:58 PM EDT)

Mortality & Morbidity Weekly Review Weekly Report, Volume 51, No. 37 is available in PDF and HTML formats.

Acute Flaccid Paralysis Syndrome Associated with West NileVirus Infection --- Mississippi and Louisiana, July--August 2002\

 Update: Investigations of West Nile Virus Infections in Recipients of Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion

West Nile Virus Activity --- United States, September 12--18, 2002, and Ohio, January 1--September 12, 2002

September 17, 2002 -  PA’S WEST NILE TEAM SAYS DEAD BIRDS FOR TESTING - Pennsylvanians thanked for phone calls, bird deliveries

Starting today through next spring, Pennsylvania’s West Nile virus program will no longer accept birds for routine testing in 29 counties. However, state officials are asking citizens to continue phoning 1-877-PA HEALTH to report dead birds that may have been infected with West Nile.

Dead bird sightings are an important factor in determining mosquito surveillance and abatement.

“Dead birds have been an excellent indicator of West Nile virus activity in Pennsylvania, but after the virus has been detected in several birds in a county and we know the virus is present, the value of testing them diminishes,” said Health Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman Jr. “I would like to thank the thousands of Pennsylvanians who took time out of their busy schedules to report, and in many cases deliver, a dead bird to the Department of Health. They have personally helped us in our efforts against West Nile virus.

Secretary Zimmerman noted that the Commonwealth was stopping dead bird pick-up in many counties to preserve resources for human testing and for testing in areas where the virus has not been as prevalent. He said that telephone reports of dead bird sightings will be sufficient to allow the state to continue to evaluate the need for mosquito control in those areas where West Nile virus has been identified.

If a bird is found in a county where West Nile already has been detected in scientifically valid and geographically scattered samples including mosquitoes, sentinel chickens and birds, the Department of Health will no longer be routinely collecting or testing birds from that county. However, if a determination is made that bird testing in those areas needs to be resumed, the public will be notified, and the county designation on the website will be changed.

Those 29 counties are: Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Butler, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Union, Washington, Westmoreland and York.

If a dead bird is found in one of those counties, citizens should call 1-877-PA HEALTH to report it and then should dispose of it properly. Individuals should always avoid barehanded contact

When handling any dead wild animal. Use disposable gloves to put the dead bird in a double plastic bag. If gloves are not available, invert a plastic shopping bag over your hands, and scoop up the bird with the bag.

The Department of Health will continue to accept birds for testing from 38 counties. The counties are: Armstrong, Bedford, Bradford, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Colombia, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, McKean, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Perry, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Venango, Warren, Wayne and Wyoming.

For more information on West Nile virus, including current test results, visit the PA PowerPort at, PA Keyword: “West Nile Virus,” or go directly to or call the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.  # # #

EDITORS NOTE: Starting today, the results of positive human tests will be reported daily on the West Nile website, in the same way that all other test results are reported. News releases will not be issued each time a human case is confirmed. Test results received by 10 a.m. will be reported that day. Tests completed after 10 a.m. will be reported the next day. Pennsylvania only reports positive human cases -- negative test results are not reported.


Pennsylvanians reminded to take action to prevent mosquito-breeding.

 Health Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman Jr. today said the Pennsylvania Department of Health is working closely with Allegheny County Health Department to confirm that a county resident who died today had contracted the West Nile Virus.

Blood specimens are being sent to the Department of Health Public Health Laboratory in Lionville, Chester County, for confirmation.  Results from the State Health Lab, which are 95 percent accurate, are expected in the next few days. If the test is positive for West Nile Virus, a final confirmatory test will be done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Aug. 31, Pennsylvania reported its first 2002 positive human case of West Nile virus.  That person, a Lancaster county man, is recovering.  If confirmed, the Allegheny County case would be the first human death from West Nile virus in Pennsylvania. There were three nonfatal cases confirmed in 2001.

So far this year in Pennsylvania, West Nile virus has been found in 469 birds, 197 mosquito samples, and 54 sentinel and veterinary samples.  The virus has been detected in 56 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.  Pennsylvanians should presume that West Nile virus is throughout the state and should take appropriate precautions.

The Department of Environmental Protection and Allegheny County are enhancing mosquito trapping and surveillance in the county.       

Secretary Zimmerman said residents can reduce the risk of West Nile virus by eliminating the places where mosquitoes breed.  Mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than four days.  He suggested taking these simple steps:

·        Eliminate standing water in any type of containers, including tin cans, plastic containers, bird baths or ceramic pots;

·        Remove standing water from discarded tires;

·        Clean clogged roof gutters and drains, especially if leaves from surrounding trees tend to plug up drains;

·        Clean and chlorinate swimming pools;

·        Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use;

·        Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish; and

·        Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.

Secretary Zimmerman also recommends these simple precautions to prevent mosquito bites, particularly for those most at risk:

·        Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of your home;

·        Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk or in areas known for have large numbers of mosquitoes;

·        When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods (usually April through October); and

·        Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  An effective repellent will contain DEET.  Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two.

West Nile virus is spread to people and animals by infected mosquitoes.  The virus can cause West Nile encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.  While anyone can contract the virus, older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at highest risk of developing the disease.

Since Jan. 1, there have been 1068 identified human cases of West Nile virus in 31 states and the District of Columbia.  This includes 45 deaths, again, none of which have occurred in Pennsylvania.

The Health Department’s Public Health Laboratory this year has performed tests of nearly 200 people with clinical symptoms of encephalitis.

People with mild infections of West Nile virus may experience fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands.  People with more serious infections may experience high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, occasional convulsions and paralysis.  Secretary Zimmerman advises anyone with any of these symptoms to contact a doctor.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus.  While most people fully recover, in severe cases, hospitalization is needed.

For more information on West Nile virus, including current test results for mosquitoes, birds and horses, visit the PA PowerPort at, or go directly to

September 9, 2002 - During the late afternoon/early evening of Tuesday September 10th, Clarke Mosquito Control will be spraying for mosquitos in Lycoming County.  They will be conducting a barrier treatment utilizing a handheld ULV treatment on apporximately 10 acres of vegitated adult mosquito harborage areas where positive mosquito pools have been identified.
If you have any questions or concerns,please contact John W. Ryder, Water Pollution Biologist, Department of Environmental Protection (Northcentral Regional Field Offices) at (570) 237-3417 - office or (570) 971-1350 - cell phone.


as  of

SEPTEMBER  5,  2002


Surveillance  Type    #Collected     #Tested     #Positives

 DEAD  BIRDS                              38                         24                       12

 MOSQUITO  SAMPLES             1705                      702                      12

 VET SAMPLES                             1                           1                           1

Mosquitoes identified at Lab  (individual)      37,490

Mosquito Species identified                                                  37

                        POSITIVE      POSITIVE       POSITIVE    MUNICIPALITY   BIRDS       MOSQUITOES        VET

Eldred Township                                           2

Loyalsock Township           8                        4

Muncy Creek Township                                1

Old Lycoming Township                                2

Williamsport City                 4                        3

     Not Available                                                                     1 (horse) 

Prepared by:  
Les Gruver, Lycoming County WNV Coordinator,   570-433-4461 Ext. 132.


State Health Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman, Jr., today reported that the West Nile Virus has been found in samples in 21 counties today. All 21 counties have had West Nile positives before.

The positive samples in Allegheny County are four crows and two Blue Jays in Pittsburgh, a Blue Jay in O'Hara Township, a crow in Monroeville, a crow in Mount Lebanon Township, an unidentified bird in Mount Lebanon Township, a crow in Greentree Borough, a Blue Jay in Penn Hills Township, a crow in Edgewood Borough, an unidentified bird in Wilmerding Borough. Three positive chickens were also found in Allegheny County. In Armstrong County a positive Blue Jay was found in Bethel Township.

In Butler County one crow was found in Butler Township, one crow in Adams Township and one crow in Butler City.

In Centre County two pools of positive mosquitoes were found in Boggs Township.

In Clarion County a positive American Crow was found in Limestone Township and a positive Blue Jay was found in Clarion Township.

In Dauphin County a positive crow was found in Harrisburg City. Susquehanna Township, Lower Swatara Townmship and South Hanover Township and two unidentified birds were also found in South Hanover Township. A positive mosquito pool was also found in Derry Township.

In Fayette County positive crows were found in Saltlick Township and South Union Township. A positive Blue Jay was found in Washington Township.

In Huntingdon County a positive Blue Jay was found in Huntingdon Borough.

In Lancaster County four positive chickens were found.

In Lebanon County a positve crow was found in Lebanon City.

In Lehigh County a positive crow was found in Weisenberg Township.

In Luzerne County one positive chicken was found and one positive crow in Forty Fort Borough and one positive crow in Nanticoke City.

In Lycoming County positive mosquito pools were found in Eldred Township and Loyalsock Township.

In Mercer County a positive crow was found in Fredonia Borough, one in Mercer Borough, one in Sharon City and one in Pymatuning Township. One positve Blue Jay was found in Hermitage City, Mercer County.

In Montgomery County positive mosquito pools were found in Lower Moreland Township, Whitemarsh Township, Upper Merion Township, West Conshohocken Borough, and Springfield Township.

In Northampton County, three positive crows were found in Bethlehem City and two crows were found in Bethlehem Township.

In Northumberland County a positive crow was found in Milton Borough.

In Philadelphia County there was one positive chicken and ten positive mosquito pools in Philadelphia City.

In Washington County a positive crow was found in North Strabane Township and a Blue Jay in Peters Township.

In Westmoreland County one positive crow was found in Scottsdale Borough, one crow in Hempfield Township and one Blue Jay in Mount Pleasant Township. York County, positve mosquito pools were found in Hanover Borough, Lower Windsor Township and East Manchester Township.

August 28, 2002 - Six More Counties Test Positive for West Nile
Health Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman today announced six new counties had positive tests for the West Nile virus, and numerous other positive tests were reported in counties that have had previous West Nile activity this year.

New counties reporting positive tests today are:

Adams County: a mosquito pool in Adams County.

Crawford County: an American crow in Hayfield Township.

Forest County: an American crow in Barnett Township.

Pike County: an American crow in Westfall Township, and an American crow in Lackawaxen Township.

Somerset County: an American crow in Somerset Borough.

Tioga County: a mosquito pool in Richmond Township.

Counties reporting positive tests today which have had previous activity are:

Allegheny County: a mosquito pool in Aspinwall Borough; two mosquito pools in the city of Pittsburgh.

Armstrong County: an American crow in Avonmore Borough; a bird in Rayburn Township.

Butler County: an American crow in Clinton Township; an American crow in the city of Butler; a mosquito pool in Butler Township.

Clarion County: an American crow in Limestone Township.

Cumberland County: an American crow in Silver Spring Township.

Dauphin County: two American crows in the city of Harrisburg; an American crow, a blue jay, and a mosquito pool in Susquehanna Township;a blue jay in Jackson Township; a mosquito pool in East Hanover Township; an American crow in Derry Township; a bird in South Hanover Township.

Lancaster County: a mosquito pool in Salisbury Township.

Lawrence County: a mosquito pool in New Wilmington Borough.

Lebanon County: an American crow in South Londonderry Township; an American crow in the city of Lebanon; an American crow in North Cornwall Township.

Lycoming County: a mosquito pool in the city of Williamsport.

Mifflin County: a horse.

Philadelphia: a mosquito pool.

Westmoreland County: a blue jay in the city of Lower Burrell.

York County: an American crow in Dover Township.
AUGUST  26,  2002 - Health Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman today announced three new counties had positive tests for the West Nile virus, and numerous positive tests were reported for counties which had previous activity. Carriers of the West Nile Virus has now been found in most of the counties in Pennsylvania. (red or dark on map below)    Total counts collected, the number tested and the "positives" reported for the State and Lycoming County are indicated below.
New counties having positive West Nile tests are:

Beaver County, a mosquito pool in Harmony Township.

Erie County, a mosquito pool in the city of Erie.

Lebanon County, mosquito pools in West Cornwall and North Cornwall Townships.
In addition, an infected American Crow was found today in Loyalsock Twp. Lycoming County.

Pennsylvania Surveillance

Surveillance Type

Number Collected

Number Tested

Number Positives

Dead Birds




Mosquito Samples




Sentinel & Vet Samples




Sentinel testing may produce multiple positive results for an individual animal

Lycoming County Surveillance

Surveillance Type

Number Collected

Number Tested

Number Positives

Dead Birds




Mosquito Samples




Sentinel & Vet Samples





August 23, 2002 - Health Secretary Robert S. Zimmerman today announced numerous positive test results for the West Nile virus, mostly involving mosquitoes, and all in counties where the virus was already detected.

In Lycoming County, an infected mosquito pool was found in the city of Williamsport.


August 7, 2002 -  The Department of Environmental Protection announce today that 3 more crows from Lycoming County have tested "Positive" for West Nile Virus. All three crows were found within the City of Williamsport. As per usual, additional mosquito traps will be established in and around the areas of the findings and will have daily samples sent to the State for testing. Also, DEP will be conducting some ground level fog type spraying in several high mosquito locations around the area on Thursday afternoon and evening depending on favorable weather conditions. DEP has or will contact the police agencies and elected officials in the potential spray areas so they are aware of their activities.

July 16, 2002 -  PA Secretary of Health Robert Zimmerman confirmed that The West Nile Virus has been identified through mosquito pool testing in Old Lycoming Township, Lycoming County.  Positive tests have also been identified in Bucks, Center, and Chester Counties.  It is important for Emergency Medical Services personnel to be aware of the dangers of this illness as well as some common signs and symptoms.

What is West Nile Virus?   West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause brain inflammation. The virus was previously only found in Africa, Eastern Europe and West Asia, but was detected in Pennsylvania for the first time in the year 2000. West Nile virus infection in people occurs primarily in the late summer or early fall. People can get infected from the bite of certain kinds of mosquitoes, such as the Northern house mosquito, that are infected with the virus. Mosquitoes get it when they bite or take a blood meal from birds infected with the West Nile virus. Those mosquitoes then transmit the virus to people, animals, and other birds when biting to take blood. You can reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood by reducing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding.
What are the symptoms of West Nile?   The incubation period of a West Nile virus infection in humans is usually 5 to 15 days.  Most people who are infected by the West Nile Virus either have no symptoms or mild illness such as fever, headache, or body ache, before fully recovering.  Some people may also experience a mild skin rash, or swollen lymph glands.  A more severe infection may be marked by a severe headache, high fever, stiff-neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and occasionally death.
Who is at greatest risk?   All residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile.  People over age 50 have the highest risk of severe illness because of their weakening immune system, although anyone with a compromised immune system is at risk.  All who died in 1999 and 2000 were over 68 years of age.
What is the Treatment for WNV?   There is no vaccine to protect people from the West Nile encephalitis virus, nor is there a specific treatment, medication, or cure.  However, the symptoms and complications of the disease can be treated.  Severe cases may call for hospitalization, intravenous (IV) fluids and nutrition, airway management, ventilatory support, and prevention of secondary infections such as pneumonia.
More information can be obtained from the DOH website at:
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE - More West Nile information with information on livestock (specifically equine) vulnerability from this illness.
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