BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - With summer weather comes mosquitoes and annoying bites. This summer, the Erie County Health Department is reminding everyone to protect themselves from the pesky insects.
Last week, mosquitoes found in two pools in Amherst tested positive for West Nile Virus. As a result, the county Health Department wants people to take the steps necessary to avoid mosquitoes.
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The department says homeowners can do so by cleaning clogged gutters or dumping any standing water. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health Commissioner said, "We've identified these West Nile Virus laden mosquitoes in Amherst. [But] people have to realize if it's in Amherst, it's in Orchard Park, it's in Hamburg, it's throughout the county."
Insect repellant or proper attire are important for people who spend a lot of time outside. Burstein says to wear a long sleeve shirt if it's cool enough, and to apply insect repellant for anyone wearing a T-shirt, exposing their skin.
"Another way to protect yourself is to stay away from areas mosquitoes like to collect in like shrubbery, tall grass or standing water," she adds.
Dr. Burstein says most people who get bit and think they've contracted the virus, sometimes won't have symptoms but some can get a serious infection. According to Dr. Burstein, symptoms are similar to that of the flu including fever, muscular aches, nausea or a headache.
Those who think they have contracted the virus, are advised to contact their doctor.
The Health Department says last year, there were 12 confirmed cases of people that contracted the West Nile in Erie County.
This year there has been no cases reported in the state so far. Dr. Burstein says that's because our area had very dry weather conditions last year.
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