Ohio leads the country in cases of emerging mosquito-borne virus

GREENE COUNTY — Officials in Greene County are gearing up for another active mosquito season and warning of a certain mosquito-borne virus that is on the rise.

The Environmental Health team at Green County Public Health (GCPH) said that while the unusually cooler, wetter weather has delayed the emergence of mosquitos, they still expect to be busy trapping and treating this year.

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“Public Health officials are especially concerned with an emerging mosquito-borne virus called La Crosse virus (LAC),” a spokesperson said in a release.

The virus can only be discovered when a person is symptomatic and causes a condition called encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. It mostly affects young people under the age of 16.

Health officials said Ohio has the highest number of cases of LAC in the country. Data from the CDC showed that from 2012-2021, Ohio reported 205 cases of LAC.

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There is no treatment for encephalitis besides prevention. GCPH officials recommend wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, applying repellants, and avoiding mosquito-prone areas. Homeowners should also inspect their property to remove any source of standing water in places like bird baths and pools that aren’t maintained.

In Greene County, health officials are monitoring mosquito populations, treating wet areas with larvicide, and occasionally spraying ultra-low volume (ULV) adulticide in known areas of heavy mosquito activity.

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