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Montco Officials Urge Residents To Begin Fighting West Nile Mosquitos Now

By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- Montgomery County, Pa. officials are starting earlier than usual, urging residents to begin preparations now to that they hope will reduce the severity of this year's West Nile virus season.

The West Nile season usually starts around April 1st, but thanks to a milder winter and recent wet weather, county officials are recommending that residents start taking precautions now.

West Nile virus is commonly transmitted back and forth between infected birds and mosquitos, but humans can get the disease if they are bitten by an infected mosquito.

County spokesman Frank Custer says residents should eliminate standing water from their property, "whether it's a clogged gutter or an old tire that has water inside it.  (Or) flower pots that don't have holes in the bottom that hold water."

Because it's an unpredictable disease, health department officials say it's too early to say how severe this season will be. They say reducing the mosquito population is critical.

The county has also begun spraying public properties where mosquitos breed, and that will continue throughout the summer months.



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