PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Health Department says they’re actively testing mosquitoes for West Nile Virus and Chikungunya Virus.
So far, only one pool of mosquitoes in Schenley Park tested positive for West Nile Virus.
“In early June, we had massive amounts where you’re catching hundreds and hundreds in our traps from the rain in May,” Allegheny County Health Department entomologist Bill Todaro said.
With all the rain in June, more mosquitoes are expected to come this July, and so are viruses like West Nile and Chikungunya, which travels from the Caribbean.
Scientists have set up traps around the city so they can test the mosquitoes.
“Whenever the mosquitoes come in here to lay their eggs, they lay on the surface of the water and get sucked up through the pipe into the net by the fan,” Todaro said.
Mosquitoes like to lay their larvae in stagnant water.
If you have tires sitting around, several buckets or even a bird bath, the health department recommends dumping out that stagnant water about once a week.
Traps are set in late afternoon, and then checked the next morning. The mosquitoes are put on dry ice, and then sent to Harrisburg for testing.
“A nice warm and rainy summer will breed a lot of mosquitoes. A nice warm dry summer will breed a lot of mosquitoes. They do well no matter what,” Todaro said.
If you get infected with West Nile Virus or Chikungunya, officials say you will most likely suffer from mild flu-like symptoms.
For every one out of 150 people, the virus could travel to your brain, which could cause your brain to swell. Officials say it can take months to recover from one of these illnesses.