CCCHD: West Nile Virus found in Clark County mosquitos

Miami Valley News

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – A recent mosquito sample collected by the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

CCCHD said the positive sample was taken from the Catawba area. Mosquitos trapped throughout the county are submitted to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) as part of their Vector-Borne Disease Program.

In response to the confirmed presence of West Nile Virus, CCCHD said it is doing the following:

  • Inspecting the affected area and working with property owners to reduce breeding sources by draining stagnant water or treating stagnant water with products containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Bti is safe for humans and pets and only affects the mosquito larvae
  • Distributing informational flyers in the affected area
  • Misting the affected area with Duet to reduce the adult mosquito population when weather permits. While safe for humans and pets, residents who have a concern about misting may opt out by calling (937) 390-5600 or emailing the request and their address to environmental@ccchd.com
  • Continuing to monitor the area for West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes and can lead to severe fever, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), according to a release. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.

“Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop an illness or not,” said CCCHD in a release. “Those who develop symptoms usually do so between three to 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection, and care is based on symptoms.”

CCCHD said about one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Up to 20 percent of people who become infected will have symptoms that can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back, according to the department. Symptoms can last for a few days or up to several weeks.

CCCHD said the best way to avoid the West Nile Virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites by doing the following:

Avoid:

  • Apply repellents on exposed skin registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Wear long sleeves and pants or consider staying indoors as much as possible

Plan:

  • If traveling, check ahead of time for travel advisories, and plan accordingly
  • Have EPA approved mosquito repellent and longs pants and shirts available to avoid bites
  • Do outside activities at times when mosquito activity is less

Stop:

  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying or treating any standing water on your property (even small amounts of standing water can be a breeding site for mosquitos)
  • Make sure screens on windows and doors are free of holes or rips. You may also opt to utilize air conditioning instead of open windows if possible

The CCCHD has sent an alert to the local medical community to facilitate quicker human diagnosis of West Nile Virus. For more information contact the CCCHD at (937) 390-5600 or go to www.ccchd.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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