MOUNT VERNON - State-funded trapping and testing
for mosquitoes in Knox County has resulted in the positive identification of
two mosquitoes with West Nile Virus (WNV). The Knox County Health Department
received notification of the positive results from the Ohio Department of
Health (ODH) which has been trapping mosquitoes in Knox County since June.
The positive samples were
collected in a trap set on the northeast side of Mount Vernon between
Vernonview Drive and Sychar Road. There were nearly 400 mosquitoes in the trap,
but only two tested positive for WNV. Knox County joins
17 other Ohio counties with
positive WNV activity including neighboring Richland and Licking counties.
Nate Overholt, environmental
health director with the local health department said the agency will conduct
pesticide spraying tonight (8/26) in the area where the positive mosquitoes
were trapped. “We will also treat areas of standing water with larvacide to
help reduce the mosquito population.”
This summer ODH has placed 30
traps in different locations in Knox County trapping thousands of mosquitoes.
About 1,700 of the biting insects have been of the Culex pipiens variety which is the primary vector in Ohio. The
culex mosquitoes are the only ones being tested.
WNV is spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito, which
gets the virus from biting an infected bird. The virus can cause an infection
in humans that can lead to encephalitis. Many types of birds can be infected,
but crows and blue jays are most likely to die from the disease. Horses are
also prone to WNV.
As of this week, there have been
nearly 400,000 mosquitoes tested in Ohio with 211 positive samples. Nine people
have been identified as infected with WNV and one person has died from the
Most people who become infected
with WNV do not have any symptoms.About
one in five people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms such
as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.Less than 1 percent of infected people
develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis
(inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).
There is no specific treatment for
WNV infection, and care is based on symptoms.
Overholt urged local residents to
take personal measures to protect themselves from mosquitoes. Those measures
include using insect repellent containing DEET and empting water-holding
containers such as plant saucers, outdoor toys, old tires and other items
around your home. Mosquitoes need just a small amount of water to lay their eggs
which hatch in just a day or two.
“Mosquitoes are likely to be
biting between dusk and dawn,” said Overholt. “If you must be outdoors when
mosquitoes are active, cover up by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and
long-sleeved shirts. Also, wear, light colors. They are less attractive to
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