Lawrence County gets grant to combat West Nile Virus

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) — Lawrence County is one of 26 Pennsylvania counties to receive funding from the Department of Environmental Protection to combat the West Nile Virus.

Lawrence County received a $44,571 West Nile Virus Control Program Grant. The funding is used to cover the costs associated with surveying and controlling mosquitoes that carry the virus, according to the DEP, which developed the funding proposals in consultation with county officials based on need.

“These county grants ensure that mosquito populations stay in check to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus,” DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said in a news release announcing the funding. “Locally-based programs play an important role in protecting the public from this perennial problem.”

To reduce the risk of West Nile Virus, DEP and county staff use a combination of education, source reduction and mosquito control. Last year, DEP detected 1,213 mosquito samples, 28 avian specimens, two horses and 11 humans infected with the virus 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.

The following Pennsylvania counties also received a share of the $2.1 million in funding:

  • 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
  • Lebanon, $68,541
  • Lehigh, $98,382
  • Luzerne, $82,800
  • Monroe, $30,000
  • Montgomery, $132,408
  • Philadelphia, $231,298
  • Westmoreland, $74,152
  • York, $114,240

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