XENIA — Greene County Public Health (GCPH) received notice from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) that West Nile Virus was detected in a mosquito sample sent to ODH. GCPH has been monitoring adult mosquitoes in the surrounding communities.
Jeff Web, Director of Environmental Health Services, stated, “By monitoring and trapping mosquitoes, it gives us confirmation that the virus is present. Since West Nile Virus has been detected, the community is being advised to protect themselves.”
Staff has been trapping mosquitoes since May and will continue until October, concentrating on human population centers. Fogging will be completed today in the area where the infected mosquitoes were identified.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a virus most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes that can lead to severe fever, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). The primary carrier in Ohio is the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.
Mosquitoes have been collected using gravid mosquito traps, and then sent to ODH for identification and testing. Information on the total number, the type, and the sex of mosquito (only females spread the virus) have been collected.
Greene County Public Health Commissioner Melissa A. Howell reminds everyone to be aware of their exposure to mosquitoes and to protect themselves by:
1. Eliminating standing pools of water, such as birdbaths, gutters, old tires, unused pools, boats and buckets.
2. Avoid shaded areas where mosquitoes may be resting.
3. Limit outdoor activity during evening hours.
4. Wear protective clothing such as light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
5. Use insect repellents (those containing DEET can be very effective; follow manufacturers’ usage recommendations).
Public Health officials will continue to monitor for mosquitoes by checking for standing water, applying larvacide, trapping and testing mosquitoes, and spraying adulticide if indicated.
For more information about mosquito control or to contact Environmental Health Services, call 937-374-5607.
Story courtesy of Greene County Public Health.