West Nile Virus Detected In Hamilton Co. Mosquitoes
By Mike Perleberg
(Hamilton County, Oh.) – Mosquitoes recently trapped in Blue Ash have tested positive for West Nile virus.
Hamilton County Public Health made the announcement Monday. WNV is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.
The health department will be conducting surveillance activities in the area where the mosquitoes were collected. They will be looking for areas of standing water, applying larvicide, making sure swimming pools are operating properly and advising residents on precautions they can take to avoid mosquito bites.
“We have ramped up our mosquito testing this summer, using two staff members to trap mosquitoes throughout the County for identification,” says Greg Kesterman, Assistant Health Commissioner. “West Nile was first identified in Ohio in 2001, so it’s not new to our area, but we like to take the opportunity to remind everyone to take precautions.”
Hamilton County Public Health advises all Hamilton County residents to DRAIN, DUNK and PROTECT in an effort to reduce the mosquito population and prevent the spread:
- Look for and drain sources of standing water on your property – litter, tires, buckets, flower pots, wading pools and similar items that could hold standing water and become mosquito breeding sites.
- Frequently change water in bird baths and pet bowls.
- Drain small puddles after heavy rainstorms.
- Apply mosquito larvicide, sometimes called mosquito “dunks,” to areas of standing water that cannot be drained. The “dunks” are environmentally safe and won’t harm pets. Purchase them at your local hardware store.
- Cut your grass and trim shrubbery.
- Make sure screens in windows and doors are tight-fitting and free from defect.
- Wear long sleeves and pants during peak mosquito hours – dawn and dusk.
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon or eucalyptus. Always follow the directions on the package.
About eight in 10 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will never become sick. Everyone, however, should be aware of the symptoms of West Nile virus, which may develop two to 14 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.