DEP Awards 26 Counties Nearly $2.1 Million in West Nile Virus Grants
HARRISBURG, Pa., April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced it is awarding nearly $2.1 million in West Nile Virus (WNV) Control Program Grants to 26 counties.
"These county grants ensure that mosquito populations stay in check to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus," DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said. "Locally-based programs play an important role in protecting the public from this perennial problem."
The funding is used to cover the costs associated with surveying and controlling mosquitoes that carry WNV. DEP developed the funding proposals in consultation with county officials based on need. The grant program is funded by the General Fund.
To reduce the risk of WNV, DEP and county staff use a combination of education, source reduction and mosquito control. Mosquito control is largely done by using larval control products, such as Bti, which is derived from soil bacteria.
If necessary, man-made adult mosquito control products derived from the chrysanthemum flower are used to reduce mosquito populations when they pose an elevated risk of infecting people. Adult mosquito control products are effective in controlling mosquito populations and pose little to no harmful effect to humans, plants or other animals.
Last year DEP detected 1,213 mosquito samples, 28 avian specimens, two horses and 11 humans infected with WNV in Pennsylvania.
In humans, the virus can cause West Nile fever and encephalitis, an infection that can cause inflammation of the brain and death. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito will never develop any symptoms, and only one person in 150 people with symptoms will develop the more serious West Nile encephalitis.
Residents are encouraged to remove all standing water from their property to prepare for mosquito season and prevent infection.
To report a dead bird, file a mosquito complaint or for more information about WNV, visit www.westnile.state.pa.us or call 717-346-8243.
Media contact: Amanda Witman, 717-787-1323
Editor's Note: Below is the list of the 2014 West Nile Virus Control grant amounts for each county:
Adams - $73,972
Allegheny - $168,114
Beaver - $37,086
Berks - $53,384
Blair - $29,335
Bucks - $144,009
Cambria - $65,344
Centre - $42,548
Chester - $104,807
Cumberland - $62,851
Dauphin - $93,861
Delaware - $113,345
Erie - $38,338
Fayette - $34,815
Franklin - $58,723
Lackawanna - $36,710
Lancaster - $61,020
Lawrence - $44,571
Lebanon - $68,541
Lehigh - $98,382
Luzerne - $82,800
Monroe - $30,000
Montgomery - $132,408
Philadelphia - $231,298
Westmoreland - $74,152
York - $114,240
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection