XENIA — West Nile virus has been detected in Greene County, according to information released by Greene County Public Health. The virus was confirmed through mosquito traps that were recently sent to the Ohio Department of Health.
“By monitoring and trapping mosquitoes, it gives us confirmation that the virus is present,” Debbie Leopold, Greene County Public Health Environmental Health Director stated in a release. “Since West Nile virus has been detected, the community is being advised to protect themselves.”
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information, as of Monday afternoon, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported.
According to Leopold, the virus was found in a sample taken from the Beavercreek area in recent weeks.
According to the public health release, locals are advised to eliminate pools of standing water (birdbaths, gutters, old tires, unused pools, etc.), to avoid shaded areas where mosquitoes might be resting, to limit outdoor activity during evening hours, to wear protective clothing such as light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and to use insect repellents.
Leopold credited the regular rains the area has received this summer for higher numbers of mosquitoes.
“We see that mosquito life cycle has been plentiful this year because of the way that we’re consistently getting rain bursts throughout this area,” she said. “We’re not the only one, they’re seeing it across the state of Ohio.”
West Nile is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, according to the CDC.
“There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection,” CDC information about the virus states. “Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than one percent of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.”
Greene County Public health staff have been trapping mosquitoes since May and will continue to do so until October, concentrating on human population centers, according to the release. Greene County Public Health will continue to check for standing water and will continue to apply chemicals and treatment measures as necessary.