West Nile virus detected in Clark County mosquitoes

CLARK COUNTY — Trapped mosquitoes in the Catawba area of Clark County has tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Clark County Combined Health District.

West Nile Virus is commonly spread by infected mosquitos and can lead to severe fever, brain inflammation, or meningitis.

“The primary vector in Ohio is the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds,” Clark County officials said. “Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.”

About 80 percent of people who get infected with the virus will not show any symptoms, however there is no way to know in advance if you would develop the illness, according to the health department.

“Those who develop symptoms usually do so between three to 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection, and care is based on symptoms,” the health district said.

The health department said about one in 150 people infected with the virus will develop severe illness. Severe symptoms include: high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. Symptoms can last several weeks and the neurological effects may be permanent.

The health district recommends applying mosquito repellents on exposed skin and to wear long sleeves and pants when outside or stay inside as much as possible.

People also can get rid of mosquito breeding sites on their properties by emptying or treating any standing water. You also can make sure screens and doors are free of holes or rips.

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