CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – The Clark County Combined Health District confirmed Wednesday a case of West Nile virus has been discovered in Clark County.
The CCCHD said in a release a Clark County resident that contracted West Nile Virus is believed to be the first person in Ohio to be infected this year.
The woman lives in Mad River Township, near Enon, in the southwestern portion of Clark County. Health officials said she began showing symptoms August 13 that included fever, chills, headache, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. CCCHD works with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to identify probable cases of WNV.
This is Clark County’s first human case of WNV reported since 2018 when two human cases were documented, and the fourth human WNV case since 2013.
Dozens of mosquito samples collected by CCCHD in the last four weeks have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and CCCHD reported August 10 that WNV-infected mosquitos were widespread throughout the area.
This week, seven more samples from all over the county were found to be positive. Those samples added to the growing list of WNV-positive mosquitos identified in Clark County in the last month.
“With the number of positive West Nile Virus mosquito samples we have found, it is disappointing but not surprising to have a human case,” said Larry Shaffer, Director of Environmental Health. “The most effective mosquito control is for everyone to get rid of standing water at their homes to eliminate breeding sites. It’s also important to wear appropriate clothing and use an EPA approved repellent when outdoors in the early morning or evening.”
CCCHD advises residents to assume the presence of West Nile Virus in their area and to take steps now to eradicate mosquito habitats along their properties. The best way to avoid the West Nile Virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites, and the best way to avoid being bitten by a mosquito is to eliminate habits where mosquitos can survive and reproduce.
CCCHD recommends a three-part strategy to combat mosquitos: AVOID, PLAN, STOP:
- 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
- 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
- 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 Health District said residents’ cooperation in getting rid of standing water is the most effective means of reducing the total number of mosquitos and far more effective that spraying.
For more information contact the CCCHD at 937-390-5600 or go to our website at www.ccchd.com.