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Mosquito samples in Clark County test positive for West Nile virus

Published: Friday, July 12, 2019 @ 10:20 PM

Health officials are urging Clark County residents to stay safe after a batch of mosquitoes recently trapped tested positive for West Nile virus.

Those who plan on spending time outdoors this weekend might want to grab some mosquito spray.

That’s because mosquito samples collected recently in the south end of Enon in Mad River Twp. tested positive for the West Nile virus, the Clark County Combined Health District announced Friday evening.

No human cases have been reported, but News Center 7’s Monica Castro has spoken to some people who are worried.

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At the Springfield Summer Arts Festival, people were lined up for a chance to win a prize. But no one wants to take a chance on mosquitoes. Along with snacks and drinks at the party, there’s another can people can’t do without: Off.

Depending where you live in Clark County, some say they’ve been itching more than others.

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“I haven’t noticed them really bad. You get bit every now and then but they haven’t been as bad as I thought they would have been with all the rain we’ve had,” said Perry Sowers of Springfield.

But you’ll want to keep packing the mosquito repellent.

The health district is trapping mosquitoes throughout the county, and on Friday evening reported that a sample tested positive for West Nile virus.

It can lead to severe fever; encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain; or meningitis, inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.

Most — 80 percent of people — infected will not show any symptoms, which can develop between three and 14 days after being bitten.

>> Clark County mosquito sample test positive for West Nile virus

Sowers has ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

“I put on a little stuff now and then. Burn the citronella candles. Do the best. I like to have fans blowing to keep them away,” Sowers said.

While people are doing their best to stay safe, there’s only so much you can do when you’re outside this summer.

“Things are going to happen you can’t control. Mother Nature is in control of that,” said Steve Wilson of Springfield.

County health officials said best way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites through AVOID, PLAN, STOP:

AVOID: 

  • Apply repellents on exposed skin registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants or consider staying indoors as much as possible. 

PLAN: 

  • If traveling, check ahead of time for travel advisories, and plan accordingly. 
  • Have EPA-approved mosquito repellent and longs pants and shirts available to avoid bites. 
  • Do outside activities at times when mosquito activity is less.  

STOP: 

  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying or treating any standing water on your property (even small amounts of standing water can be a breeding site for mosquitoes). 
  • Make sure screens on windows and doors are free of holes or rips. You may also opt to utilize air conditioning instead of open windows if possible. 

There is no specific treatment for West Nile infection, and care is based on symptoms. The health district has sent an alert to the local medical community to facilitate quicker human diagnosis of West Nile virus.

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In response to the confirmed presence of West Nile virus, CCCHD is: 

  • Inspecting the affected area and working with property owners to reduce breeding sources by draining stagnant water or treating stagnant water with products containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis. Bti is safe for humans and pets. 
  • Distributing informational flyers in the affected area. 
  • Misting the affected area with Duet to reduce the adult mosquito population when weather permits. While safe for humans and pets, residents who have a concern about misting may opt out by calling 937-390-5600 or emailing the request and their address to environmental@ccchd.com. 
  • Continuing to monitor for West Nile virus.  

For more information contact the CCCHD at 937-390-5600 or visit its website at www.ccchd.com.