The Office of the State Veterinarian announced today Delaware’s third case of West Nile Virus (WNV) found in horses in 2018. The infected equine is a 10-year-old pony gelding that was purchased from a Pennsylvania livestock auction and transported to a premises in New Castle County, DE on August 27. On August 30, the pony was observed to have a fever, was leaning and walking sideways. He progressed to show signs of wobbling and staggering, decreased tail tone, and facial nerve deficits. Samples were submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, which confirmed the diagnosis of WNV on September 7. The vaccination history for this pony is unknown.
The Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing that a 60-year-old Sussex County man has tested positive for the state’s first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2018. The man was briefly hospitalized for illness in July and after a preliminary positive test result from the DPH Laboratory in Smyrna, the blood sample was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing. WNV, a mosquito-borne illness, can become serious, and DPH reminds people to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
The Delaware Department of Agriculture, DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section and the Delaware Beekeepers Association urge anyone who keeps bees in Delaware to register their bee hives and sign up for all the apps that are available that can help protect the state’s valuable pollinators.
Heavy rains prompt mosquito alert and advisory; DNREC Mosquito Control working to thwart big rise in numbers
Due to heavy rainfall Delaware has received in the last week – and with more rain forecast through the weekend – there will be plenty of surface water for the state’s mosquito species to lay their eggs with great numbers of mosquitoes expected to hatch in the near future.
Weather permitting, DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section has started its annual spring woodland-pool spraying this week, treating wooded wetlands for control of immature (larval) mosquitoes near populated areas in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. Approximately 5,000 to 8,000 acres with woodland pools where early season mosquitoes breed in quantity will be strategically larvicided by helicopter, and possibly fixed-wing aircraft.