Mosquitoes could be bugging and biting Fairfax County residents earlier this year after a warm winter and a rain-heavy spring.
Glen Barbour, public safety information officer for the Fairfax County Health Department, said there’s no way of knowing whether that will happen, but that residents should take necessary safety measures just in case.
Human cases of West Nile Virus are rare in Fairfax County, but they’re not unheard of.
In 2011, eight cases of West Nile Virus were found in humans in Virginia. One case was found in Fairfax County.
During its annual surveillance period, the department of health traps mosquitoes at 68 different sites around the county and test the insects for West Nile Virus.
According to the health department’s 2012 action plan for disease carrying insects, nearly 92,000 mosquitoes were tested in more than 4,000 groups, or pools, in 2011. Of the pools, 109 tested positive for West Nile Virus.
The cases were not concentrated in one specific part of the county either; they spread from Lorton and Fort Belvoir to Chantilly.
Barbour encouraged residents to get rid of pools of standing water around their homes, as they pose an ideal breeding ground for the insects.
Other prevention tips include:
- Turning over or removing containers from your yard where rainwater collects, such as potted plant trays, buckets, or toys.
- Removing old tires from your yard.
- Cleaning roof gutters and downspout screens.
- Emptying birdbaths once a week.
For more information on Fairfax County mosquito control, West Nile Virus prevention and other insect carried diseases, visit the county’s web site.