SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Mosquitoes that were recently trapped in Sycamore Township have tested positive for West Nile Virus, a viral disease that can be passed from mosquitoes to humans.
"It is important for residents to remember that we call all take action to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites," Greg Kesterman, Assistant Hamilton County Health Commissioner said. "Even though West Nile Virus is present in our area, the chances of developing severe symptoms from West Nile Virus remain small."
Hamilton County Public Health staff will be conducting surveillance and community outreach activities in Silverton, where the mosquitoes were collected. They will be looking for areas of standing water, applying larvicide, making sure swimming pools are operating properly and advising residents on precautions they can take to avoid mosquito bites.
West Nile Virus is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. It is important to note that most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will never become sick. Everyone, however, should be aware of the symptoms of WNV. Symptoms may develop 2 to 15 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.
Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have been sick for several weeks.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of disease. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.
This is the first positive test for mosquitoes with West Nile Virus in Hamilton County in 2012. It is important to note that there have been no positive West Nile Virus cases reported in either birds or humans in Hamilton County this year.
While all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk, people over age 50 have the highest risk of developing severe WNV infections. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation.
For more information on West Nile Virus, please contact Hamilton County Public Health at (513) 946-7800 or visit www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org.