Introduction

Since August, 11 human West Nile virus (WNV) cases (10 neuroinvasive and 1 fever) have been identified in Philadelphia. Eight neuroinvasive cases were residents >50 years of age, and the remaining two were an immunocompromised 49 year-old, and a healthy 35 year-old. All neuroinvasive cases were hospitalized. No fatal cases have been reported. Positive mosquito pools also continued to be identified across the City. The WNV mosquito pool positivity rate in 2018 is higher than the historic median rate (35.8% vs. 3%), and higher than rates observed in 2010 and 2012 (19%—24%), peak WNV activity seasons in Philadelphia. Increased risk for human infection will continue in Philadelphia until the first hard frost occurs.

From May through October, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) in collaboration with the PA Department of Environmental Protection conducts mosquito management activities throughout Philadelphia, which entails surveillance and identification of mosquito pools, testing pools for WNV, and control activities (eliminating breeding sites, larviciding catch basins, ground spraying, etc.). Since May 2018, 136 locations across Philadelphia with WNV positive mosquito pools or high numbers of nuisance mosquitoes were treated to control adult mosquito populations.

Click here for more information on West Nile Virus and other arboviruses including disease guidance and reporting information.

Click here to download the latest weekly report of West Nile Virus in a printable format.

Click here to view travel-related arboviral infections surveillance data.

Click here to download the 2017 season summary report of West Nile Virus in a printable format.


2018 Philadelphia West Nile Virus Mosquito and Human Case Surveillance - Philadelphia, PA


Cumulative 2018 Season Update:

2018 Season (5/1 - 9/13)
Mosquito Pools Tested* 899
WNV Positive Pools 322
Humans Tested** 19
Human WNV Cases 11
Neuroinvasive WNV 10
WNV Fever 1
*899 mosquito pools at 172 different mosquito trapping sites
**Testing among case reports received by PDPH only

2018 Geographic Distribution of Positive Mosquito Pools and Human Cases:

Geographic Distribution of Positive Mosquito Pools and Human Cases

Advise your patients to:

  • Use repellent with DEET(≥20% to also prevent tick bites), Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors
  • Regularly check and remove standing water outside their home (e.g., unused pools, tires)
  • Keep well-fitted screens on windows and doors
  • Report mosquito problems and dead bird sightings to the PDPH Vector Control Program’s Mosquito Complaint Line at 215-685-9000

WNV Testing and Reporting Requirements for Human Surveillance in Philadelphia:

  • Collect CSF (from symptom onset—day 8) and serum (day 8—14) from patients with unexplained encephalitis or meningitis for WNV IgM testing.
  • Report suspected and confirmed WNV infections (neuroinvasive or non-neuroinvasive illness) and encephalitis cases to PDPH by telephone at 215-685-6742 (or 215-686-4514 after hours). Reports also may be faxed to 215-238-6947.

State and National West Nile Virus Activity Reports


Updated: 09/17/18