Pennsylvania DEP Awards 26 Counties Nearly $2.2 Million in West Nile Virus Grants

Mar 27, 2013, 13:24 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection today announced it is awarding nearly $2.2 million in West Nile Virus Control program grants to 26 counties, which are slated to begin surveillance activities in early April.

"This grant funding will help the counties that are most affected by West Nile Virus to monitor and control mosquitos," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "It is important for us to work with our county partners to protect human health at the local level."

DEP developed the funding proposals in consultation with county officials. The total county grant award is about $20,000 more than the 2012 grants. This additional grant funding will be used to cover the costs of new spray equipment for county-based West Nile Virus (WNV) programs. Gov. Corbett's proposed 2013-14 budget maintains 2012 funding levels for DEP's WNV Control program.

Because of the mild winter and early spring, 2012 proved to be a record year for WNV in Pennsylvania. The first positive mosquito was discovered May 4, 2012, the earliest ever. That kicked off a year that brought the highest recorded numbers of human, bird, mosquito and veterinary positives since 2003.

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.

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.

The DEP WNV program will begin mosquito surveillance in early May. Residents are encouraged to remove all standing water from their property to prepare for mosquito season and prevent infection.

To report a dead bird or file a mosquito complaint, or for more information about WNV, visit or call 717-346-8238.

Editor's note: Below is the list of the 2013 West Nile Virus Control grants for each county: 

Adams - $71,688
Allegheny - $164,816
Beaver - $34,598
Berks - $53,310
Blair - $35,509
Bucks - $156,699
Cambria - $62,044
Centre - $55,200
Chester - $110,701
Cumberland - $60,904
Dauphin - $91,000
Delaware - $110,498
Erie - $81,079
Fayette - $37,670
Franklin - $57,380
Lackawanna - $55,411
Lancaster - $104,153
Lawrence - $42,000
Lebanon - $69,519
Lehigh - $92,992
Luzerne - $79,500
Monroe - $30,000
Montgomery - $129,114
Philadelphia - $219,998
Westmoreland - $71,152
York - $112,000

Media contact: Amanda Witman, 717-787-1323

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection