Alexandria Health Department Reports Second Positive Test For West Nile Virus In Mosquitoes For 2008

Page archived as of September 1, 2008


Alexandria Health Department Reports Second Positive Test for West Nile Virus in Mosquitoes for 2008
City Residents Reminded to Eliminate Standing Water and Protect Themselves Against Mosquito Bites

Mosquito collections on DeWitt Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV), marking the second reported activity of the virus in the City and the first in a City residential neighborhood for the 2008 season. No human cases of West Nile Virus disease have been reported in the City of Alexandria this year.

The mosquitoes were collected by the Vector-borne Illness Prevention Program on July 16, 2008, and confirmed positive for West Nile Virus by the State’s Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services.

“West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is endemic in this region. There are ways of preventing the spread of diseases like West Nile Virus. Residents can play an important role in this effort by getting rid of mosquito-breeding areas around their homes.  We urge City residents to be proactive in their efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats,” said Alexandria Health Director, Dr. Lisa Kaplowitz.

The Alexandria Health Department has been proactive in treating all catch basins in Del Ray with an environmentally friendly larvacide. Residents are encouraged to call the Health Department if they are aware of breeding sites in their neighborhood which may be unnoticed.

The Alexandria Health Department recommends the following tips to eliminate mosquito-breeding areas in your neighborhood and to reduce exposure to adult mosquitoes:

Eliminate Mosquito Breeding on Your Property:

  • Empty birdbaths and other water-holding containers, such as trays under flowerpots, at least once a week.
  • Properly dispose of used tires.
  • Clean roof gutters and downspouts. Check corrugated black drainpipes for any water collection.
  • Turn over wading pools, wheelbarrows, canoes, pails, trash can lids, children’s toys, and any other objects that can hold water, including items stored under decks and porches.
  • Repair dripping outdoor water faucets.
  • Drain water from tarps and grill covers.

Avoid Mosquito Bites:

  • Avoid outdoors activities at dawn and dusk in mosquito-infested areas like marshes and wetlands.
  • Use insect repellants, such as DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), Picardin (KBR 3023), or Oil of Lemon eucalyptus (p-methane 3,8-diol-PMD), as per label directions.
  • Wear loose, long and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
  • Check window and door screens for holes and repair, if necessary, with a fine-mesh screen.

For more information about WNV, please visit the following Web sites:

For additional questions or concerns regarding mosquitoes or mosquito-borne illness, please call the Alexandria Health Department, Vector-borne Illness Prevention Program. Contact Tim McGonegal, at (703) 838-4400 ext. 327, or Holly Feltner, at ext. 326.