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West Nile detected in Rocky River, other counties; here are ways to avoid virus-spreading mosquitoes

by Aug 16, 2022Health

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in Rocky River, as well as Lake, Lorain, Portage and Summit counties, according to state health officials.

More West Nile-positive mosquitos are expected to be found throughout Cuyahoga County in the next few weeks, Cuyahoga County Board of Health officials said Monday.

Lorain County has 12 mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile virus, Summit County has eight and Portage County has seven, according to state data.

Three mosquito pools that tested positive have been found in Lake County, health officials there said. The mosquitos were collected in central Lake County in late July. It is likely that West Nile-carrying mosquitoes are present throughout Lake County.

Medina and Ashtabula counties have no mosquito pools that tested positive for the virus.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause serious illness. Mosquitoes infected with the virus are usually seen in late July, and peak in August.

Traps to find West Nile-carrying mosquitoes have been set up across the state. Traps are sent to the Ohio Department of Health  for testing, and combined into pooled samples. Cities are notified if the virus is detected there.

The Ohio Department of Health maintains West Nile Virus surveillance information on its website, which is updated weekly. It is currently updated through Thursday, Aug. 11, an ODH spokesperson said. Download the attachment on the page for the detailed county-by-county information.

What is West Nile?

West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito, according to the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention.

Cases of West Nile virus occur during mosquito season, which lasts summer through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat the illness.

Fortunately, most people who are infected do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms, such as high fever, vomiting, headaches, muscle aches and loss of appetite. Fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

One in 150 people with West Nile virus develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord).

Seek medical attention if symptoms persist two to 10 days after a mosquito bite.

Ways to prevent mosquito bites

– Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil.

– Get rid of containers that collect water, including buckets, tires, cans and flower pots.

– Unclog gutters so they drain properly.

– Repair screens on doors and windows.

– Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

– Stay indoors during times of peak mosquito activity, which is one hour before and after sunrise and sunset.

– Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them covered when empty.

– Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted trays at least once a week.

– Check for water in children’s toys.

– Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas. Remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.

– Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs.

– Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.


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