By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The number of people infected with West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania has doubled, with the confirmation of two human cases in Delaware County. A local expert says prevention is key.

Delaware County Senior Medical Advisor Dr. George Avetian says the state DEP’s surveillance program reports an unprecedented number of mosquitoes carrying West Nile.

“This year, it’s been much warmer than past years, and it gives mosquitoes more time for breeding, and the warm, humid weather is an environment that mosquitoes thrive in.”

Besides covering up and using insect repellant, especially at dawn and dusk, when the insects are most active, Avetian suggests making it tough for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of standing water — in places like recycling buckets.

“We encourage everyone to drill holes in the bottom of any type of container that can potentially hold water.”

And make sure your rain gutters aren’t clogged. Avetian says although some people are exposed and never get sick, at its worst, West Nile can be downright dangerous.

“You have inflammation of the brain and the lining of the brain, and it can be potentially life-threatening.”

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