By 1812Blockhouse

Richland Public Health officials have been notified by the Ohio Department of Health that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes in Richland County. This marks the first positive WNV mosquito samples in the county for this year.

Not a Human Infection Case

Joe Harrod, Director of Environmental Health at Richland Public Health, emphasized, “To be very clear, this is not a human infection case, but the first positive WNV mosquito samples in Richland County this year.” Health Department officials will continue to conduct surveillance and implement appropriate mosquito control measures to reduce the risk of transmission of this mosquito-borne illness to residents.

Understanding West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus where human symptoms are generally mild and often mimic the flu. In severe cases, WNV can cause serious conditions such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), or even death. Approximately 80% of people infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Those who develop symptoms usually do so between three to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection, and care is based on symptom control and relief. Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent West Nile Virus.

Richland Public Health’s Mosquito Control Program

Richland Public Health’s Mosquito Control Program conducts surveillance, treats, and sprays throughout the season to monitor mosquito populations and mosquito-spread diseases throughout the county. Residents are urged to eliminate standing water and take precautions to protect themselves and loved ones from mosquito bites.

Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, including puddles, stagnant ditches, and containers like old tires, buckets, cans, neglected swimming pools, and flower pots. To help residents avoid mosquito bites and reduce the risk of WNV, Richland Public Health recommends the following tips:

  • Ensure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
  • Repair or replace all torn screens in your home.
  • Remove all discarded tires from your property.
  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water-holding containers.
  • Ensure roof gutters drain properly and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. If not in use, keep them empty and covered.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Change the water in bird baths at least once a week.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Clean ditches of obstructions so they drain properly.
  • Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property.
  • Check trees for cavities that hold water and fill them with soil, gravel, or sand.
  • Remind or help neighbors eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
  • Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.

Protecting the Community

Richland Public Health officials will continue to monitor the mosquito population and conduct mosquito control measures throughout the season. Residents are encouraged to stay informed and take proactive steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites.

For more information, visit richlandhealth.org.

Source: Richland Public Health

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