MIAMI TOWNSHIP, HAMILTON COUNTY (FOX19 NOW) - West Nile Virus has turned up in recently trapped mosquitoes on Citation Drive in this western Hamilton County suburb, health officials announced Tuesday.
Hamilton County Public Health staff members will be conducting surveillance activities in the area where the mosquitoes were collected.
Officials say the Cincinnati Health Department (CHD) confirmed a mosquito pool in Mt. Airy Forest tested positive for the virus. This was the first pool sent by CHD that tested positive.
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. The peak time for mosquitoes and West Nile Virus is now until the first frost of the season.
"It is important for residents to remember that we can all take action to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites," said Assistant Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman, Assistant Health Commissioner. "With the great weather and upcoming holiday weekend, many people will be enjoying the outdoors. We're reminding folks to take precautions."
All county residents are advised to DRAIN, DUNK and PROTECT to reduce the mosquito population and prevent West Nile Virus:
- DRAIN · Look for and drain sources of standing water on your property – litter, tires, buckets, flower pots, wading pools and similar items that could create standing water and become mosquito breeding sites. · Frequently change water in bird baths and pet bowls. · Drain small puddles after heavy rainstorms.
- DUNK · Apply mosquito larvicide, sometimes called mosquito “dunks,” to areas of standing water that cannot be drained. The “dunks” are environmentally safe and won’t harm pets. Purchase them at your local hardware store.
- PROTECT · Cut your grass and trim shrubbery. · Make sure screens in windows and doors are tight-fitting and free from defect. · Wear long sleeves and pants during peak mosquito hours – dawn and dusk. · Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon or eucalyptus. Always follow the directions on the package. 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.
- May develop two to 14 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito. Some 70-80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms at all.
- Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display minor symptoms which can include fever, headache, and 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.
- Serious Symptoms in a Few People. Less than 1 percent of those infected will develop severe illness.
- 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.
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 infections.
Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation.
For more information on West Nile Virus, contact Hamilton County Public Health: 513-946-7800 or visit www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org.