County sample tests positive for West Nile

XENIA — According to Ohio Department of Health (ODH), West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in a mosquito sample from Greene County.

Greene County Public Health (GCPH) recently received notice from ODH that the positive result came from a pool of mosquitoes in Beavercreek in the neighborhood of N. Fairfield Road, Hanes Road, Kemp Road, and Suburban Drive.

GCPH has been monitoring adult mosquitoes in the surrounding communities.

Jeff Webb, 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. GCPH planned to spray Aug. 9 evening beginning 30 minutes after sunset extending until midnight in the area where the infected mosquitoes were identified.

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.

GCPH Commissioner Melissa 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.