West Nile Virus Detected
Columbiana County Health District announced today that West Nile virus has recently been detected in a mosquito pool in Center Township. The department traps mosquitoes as part of the Mosquito Surveillance Plan, paid for by the Mosquito Control Grant the department was awarded this year from the Ohio EPA. West Nile virus (WNV) is established in Ohio, with cases reported each year.
Columbiana County Health District encourages Columbiana County residents to take the proper precautions when spending time outside to protect themselves and others, particularly from May through October when mosquitoes are active in Ohio. WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
It is recommended to prevent mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:
• Apply EPA approve insect repellant, always making sure to follow proper use instructions
• Wear long, loose fitting clothing when appropriate
• Limit time spent outside from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active
• Make sure windows have screens and doors remain closed to keep mosquitoes out
• Remove standing water from your property to eliminate potential mosquito breeding grounds
West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999 in New York, and was first identified in Ohio in 2001. Now, cases of WNV are identified in Ohio every year. Mosquitoes become infected with WNV when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans, and to other animals through their bite.
Approximately 80% of people infected with West Nile virus are asymptomatic. Individuals who do develop symptoms typically do so two to 14 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms can range from fever, headache, and rashes to nausea, vomiting, vision loss and other more severe symptoms. The virus can only be diagnosed by a healthcare provider. Columbiana County Health District encourages individuals who begin experiencing symptoms to speak with their provider.
For more information, residents can call Columbiana County Health District at (330) 424 – 0272 or visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website: https://odh.ohio.gov/know-our-programs/zoonotic-disease-program/diseases/west-nile-virus