Ohio Department of Health: Wet summer = more mosquitoes = risk of West Nile Virus

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COLUMBUS, OH – It’s no surprise to northeast Ohioans that this has been an extremely wet summer. Or that mosquitoes love rain and breed in standing water.  But what may come as a surprise is that 5 areas in Ohio have tested positive for West Nile Virus. And the primary way to get West Nile? Mosquito bites.

No human cases of West Nile have been reported as yet. But mosquito pools in Columbus, Franklin County, Richland County, Summit County and Licking County have tested positive for the illness.  And while most people infected won’t show any symptoms, about 1 in 5 people will develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, stomach upset or a rash. In very rare cases, some might develop a neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

How do you keep safe during a banner summer for mosquitoes? The Ohio Department of Health has these tips:

  •    Wear EPA-registered mosquito repellents whenever mosquitoes are present and follow label instructions.
  •   Wear long, loose, light-colored clothing.
  •    Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.

There are some ways to keep mosquitoes from breeding in your yard:

  • Remove temporary pools of water around your house and yard. This includes clearing debris from ditches, cutting small channels to help pooling water drain, or filling in holes and tire ruts with dirt.
  • Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.
  •  Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.

Click here for more information on mosquitoes and West Nile Virus.

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