Protect Your Family From La Crosse Encephalitis

Armen Hareyan's picture

La Crosse Encephalitis

Monongalia County Health Department is preparing for another season of mosquitoes and the potential return of the La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC) as well as West Nile Virus (WNV).

LAC and WNV cases occur primarily in the summer and fall.


Over the past 10 years, WV LAC cases averaged 35 per year; which compromises about one-half of recorded CDC cases nationwide. The average annual cases detected in the past three years (2004-2006) however are 21 per year. One hopes these decreases are real and sustained. The disease most often affects children 15 years of age and younger (87% of recent cases; 2003-2006). The incidence in WV remains 10 times higher than any other state.

In 2002, West Virginia saw its first human and animal cases of WNV and dead bird testing for 2007 has begun. This year the health department will continue to monitor West Nile activity with dead bird and mosquito surveillance. Persons who see a dead bird should contact the MCHD. Birds are tested for WNV at the Office of Laboratory Services in Charleston, West Virginia.

You can reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Here are some simple steps you can take: