Officials report increase in West Nile Virus activity in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach Mosquito Control and the Virginia Beach Public Health Department have reported an increase in West Nile Virus mosquito activity in Virginia Beach over the last three weeks.

Officials have conducted weekly tests throughout the city since June. Some of the mosquitoes that have been collected and tested for West Nile Virus have tested positive.

The positive results have been found in the following neighborhoods: Kings Grant, Witchduck, Pembroke, Lakeview Shores, Diamond Lake Estates, Thalia, PA Plaza, Chesapeake Beach, Green Run, Bayside, Larkspur Meadows, Bow Creek, Lamplight Manor, Windsor Woods, Lake James, Aragona Village and Bay Colony.

Residents are encouraged to dump any containers that may catch and hold rainwater as these areas can be prime breeding sites for mosquitoes.

The primary vector of West Nile Virus in our area is Cx. pipiens / restuans, which breeds in water with a higher organic content.

Mosquito Control will focus on stagnant water where mosquitoes may be breeding. Crews are treating standing water in the affected areas and spraying efforts are being increased. Drainage crews are clearing clogged ditches and pulling debris from drainage pipes to ensure the water keeps moving to reduce the number of breeding sites.

West Nile Virus is an uncommon viral disease that spread to birds, humans and other mammals by the bite of infected mosquitoes.  Those who are infected with West Nile Virus have no symptoms, but can experience mild flu-like symptoms. A small number of those infected develop more serious neurological disorders.

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health advises residents and visitors to take necessary precautions to avoid mosquitoes:

  • Wear long, loose and light colored clothing.
  • Use insect repellent products registered with the EPA. No more than 50 percent DEET for adults and less than 30 percent DEET for children.  Use care when applying repellents to children.  Follow all label instructions.
  • Turn over or remove containers in your yard where rainwater collects, such as plant trays, buckets, and toys.
  • Clean birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
  • Check window and door screens so mosquitoes cannot enter the home.