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CDC: West Nile Virus Cases at Record High

Prince William County mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus in June 2012.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that reported cases of West Nile virus in 2012 are at the highest level since the disease was first detected in 1999.

So far, 1,118 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported across the United States.

"Thus far in 2012, 47 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes," said the CDC. Out of the cases reported, 41 people died from the virus, 629 (56 percent) were classified as "neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis)" and 489 (44 percent) were classified as "non-neuroinvasive disease."

in Woodbridge in June 2012. The county sprays for mosquitoes and gypsy moths and posts the information about spraying via the public works department of the county website. Read more about operating the

In addition to the spray schedule online, you can call 703-PWC-INFO (703-792-4636) to hear the updated schedule for the day. Follow the prompts to hear the schedule.

The CDC said that "approximately 75 percent of the cases have been reported from five states (Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma) and almost half of all cases have been reported from Texas."

The Prince William Health District recommends the following to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

• Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.

• Use insect repellent products with no more than 50 percent DEET for adults and less than 10 percent for children.  Follow label instructions when using insect repellents.

• Turn over or remove containers in your yard where any water may collect, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets, and toys. 

• Eliminate any standing water in yards or on tarps or flat roofs.

• Chlorinate or clean out birdbaths and wading pools every three to five days. 

• Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Virginia Department of Health website at www.vdh.virginia.gov. For questions about mosquito control spraying, contact Prince William Gypsy Moth & Mosquito Control at 703-792-6279.

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