West Nile Virus Tests Positive In Pottstown
The positive test is one of two in the area.
The Dept. of Environmental Protection and West Nile Virus staff are responding to two reported positive tests for WNV in Pottstown and Lehigh, South Whitehall Township.
West Nile Virus is a flavivirus -- closely related to St. Louis encephalitis virus that is also found in the U.S. - typically found in Africa, West Asia and the Middle East. WNV can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and other mammals.
According to the Center For Disease Control, "the most severe type of disease due to a person being infected with West Nile virus is sometimes called 'neuroinvasive disease' because it affects a person’s nervous system."
Specific types of neuroinvasive disease include: West Nile encephalitis, West Nile meningitis or West Nile meningoencephalitis. Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain, meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and meningoencephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it.
"West Nile Fever is another type of illness that can occur in people who become infected with the virus. It is characterized by fever, headache, tiredness, aches and sometimes rash. Although the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have been sick for several weeks," the CDC's website states.
To learn more, call Amanda Witman of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection at 717-787-1323 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.