XENIA — Greene County Public Health received notice from Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Sept. 27 that West Nile Virus was detected in a second mosquito sample sent to ODH.
The positive result came from a pool of mosquitoes tested in August in the 5 Points area of Fairborn. GCPH has been monitoring adult mosquitoes in the surrounding communities.
Jeff Webb, Director of Environmental Health Services, said, “On September 4, 2018, after receiving that report, the neighborhood around the 5 Points area of Fairborn was treated with adulticide to try and reduce the adult mosquito population. Staff has been trapping mosquitoes since May and we will continue to do so until October, concentrating on human population centers.”
According to GCPH officials, West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes that can lead to severe fever, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). The primary carrier in Ohio is the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.
Mosquitoes were collected using gravid mosquito traps, and then sent to ODH for identification and testing. Information on the total number, the type, and the sex of mosquito (only females spread the virus) was collected.
GCPH Commissioner Melissa Howell reminds everyone to be aware of their exposure to mosquitoes and to protect themselves by:
1. Eliminating standing pools of water, such as birdbaths, gutters, old tires, unused pools, boats and buckets, particularly after the great amount of rain as of late.
2. Avoid shaded areas where mosquitoes may be resting.
3. Limit outdoor activity during evening hours.
4. Wear protective clothing such as light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
5. Use insect repellents (those containing DEET can be very effective; follow manufacturers’ usage recommendations).
GCPH officials will continue to monitor for mosquitoes by checking for standing water, applying larvacide, trapping and testing mosquitoes, and spraying adulticide if indicated.
For more information about mosquito control or to contact Environmental Health Services call 937-374-5607.