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Mosquito with West Nile virus turns up in Erie



Published: Thu, August 30, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



ERIE, Pa. (AP) -- The first mosquito carrying the West Nile virus in western Pennsylvania this year has landed in an illegal tire dump in Erie.

The virus causes flulike symptoms but can be deadly to some people, especially the elderly and those with weak immune systems.

"We're not surprised to find the virus here," said Rick Weber, a biologist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. "We expect to see it year in, year out, throughout North America."

Mary Bennett, 89, said she might limit her outdoor activities. Her home is about 50 yards from where the mosquito was found.

Residents have been told to take precautions. DEP officials plan to spray the entire dump Thursday with a natural bacteria that kills mosquito larvae.




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