WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WDVM) — This year’s first case of West Nile Virus in Prince William County was found in a mosquito pool last month. Nathaniel Nagle with the Prince William County Department of Public Works says they keep an eye out for the virus annually.
“Every year, Prince William County starts collecting and testing adult mosquitoes,” said Nagle. “So this particular year. We had a collection on May 18 that tested positive, which is a little early.”
Although he says the first positive of this year is a bit early, it does not mean there will be significant cases for 2021.
Cases of West Nile Virus pop up during mosquito season, which runs from summer to fall. The CDC says in the U.S. the virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease.
“In a low year, it can be as few as 10 mosquito pools testing positive to as many as over 200 so it can be it can be quite a range I guess an average would fall somewhere in between there,” he said.
According to the CDC, the West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, so the best way to protect yourself from the West Nile Virus is to grab your bug spray, apply it and wear long-sleeve shirts and pants.
The public works committee started spraying insecticide in Woodbridge on Tuesday to combat the virus, which Nagle says can show up as flu-like symptoms.
“It’s always a good idea to contact your family doctor if you feel you might be ill,” said Nagle.
However, Doctor David Gaines with the Virginia Department of Health said, “Although this particular year could potentially turn out to be a bad West Nile Virus year, there have been no human cases of the virus identified in Virginia as of this date.”
There’s no vaccine to prevent the West Nile Virus so it’s important to take steps to protect yourself.
To report any cases of West Nile Virus you can click this link here or call the Mosquito Control Branch at 703-792-6279.