State officials have found the virus in 64 dead birds this year.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A second dead bird found in Lawrence County has tested positive for the West Nile virus.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that a dead crow found in Neshannock Township had the disease, which can be deadly to the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
Daily updates of birds and mosquito pools found positive for the disease are posted daily on the department's Web site at www.westnile.state.pa.us, according to Richard McGarvey, health department spokesman.
McGarvey said it's not unusual to find infected birds this time of the year.
First case found
Lawrence County's first case of the virus was found earlier this week in a dead blue jay, McGarvey said.
Officials are warning residents to take precautions as they would with any disease where infection occurs from insects. Humans can be infected only by the bite of a mosquito.
Not all mosquitoes have the virus and not everyone bitten by a mosquito with West Nile virus will become sick, McGarvey said. Many people have no symptoms or get the symptoms of the summer flu, he said.
State officials advise people to use mosquito repellent containing DEET and to wear long- sleeved shirts and pants when mosquitoes are most active, in the early morning and late evening.
McGarvey also reminds people to eliminate standing water whenever possible.
"A little flower pot with an inch of water in the bottom can produce 1,000 mosquitos in 10 days," he said.
So far, state officials have found the virus in 64 dead birds, 11 mosquito pools and 12 other animals in 11 Pennsylvania counties.
Most of the counties are in the eastern or middle part of the state. Lawrence County is the first in western Pennsylvania to find the virus this year.