Funding Cut for West Nile Testing
The Ohio Department of Health will no longer test mosquitoes for West Nile virus.
Ohio is stopping its testing because of federal funding cuts, according to Tessie Pollock with the Ohio Department of Health. Pollock said the department was expecting the cuts, and was fortunate enough to still test in 2012.
Between 2002 and 2012, local health departments were able to submit mosquito samples to the Ohio Department of Health, which would test them for vector-borne diseases. In 2012, 26 of the 125 jurisdictions submitted mosquitoes.
The Ohio Department of Health has been taking samples for West Nile virus since the first case was identified in the state in 2002. With the federal funding, the department was able to set out traps. Every year since then, officials have found West Nile in both mosquitoes and humans, and expect the trend to continue.
Last year, 121 West Nile human cases were found in 32 counties.
West Nile virus is now indigenous, meaning it will be found in Ohio every summer, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Officials say regardless if your home is located near a pool of mosquitoes identified as carriers of West Nile virus, you should still protect yourself and your family by wearing repellant.
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