The Cuyahoga County Board of Health has learned from the Ohio Department of Health that several local mosquito traps throughout Cuyahoga County have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
To date, a total of 213 West Nile Virus positive mosquito pools have been identified statewide in 2012 by the Ohio Department of Health. One clinical human case has been confirmed in Clermont County, located in southwestern Ohio.
While it is not unusual for infected mosquitos to be identified at this time of year, ongoing surveillance techniques and larvicidal treatments are presently being used in cooperation with local communities to slow down the proliferation of the virus in our area.
Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan advises that “Utilizing appropriate personal protection measures is critical for West Nile Virus prevention this time of year. Historically, the number of West Nile Virus human cases nationwide peaks in late August and early September.”
WAYS TO PREVENT MOSQUITO ACTIVITY AND REDUCE HUMAN EXPOSURE:
Dispose of containers that collect water such as buckets, scrap tires, cans, and flower pots.
Eliminate areas of standing water.
Repair leaky outdoor faucets that leave puddles.
Empty and refill bird baths at least once a week.
Clean, drain and cover pools or hot tubs if not in use.
Unclog all gutters and drains.
Fill tree holes with tar or cement.
Tightly screen all openings of your home.
Keep children indoors during times of peak mosquito activity - one hour before and one hour after sunset.
Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs.
Use insect repellent on both skin and clothing. Repellents should contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil for skin and permethrin for clothing. Follow label directions.
With the existing drought conditions, mosquitoes are gathering near available water sources. Pooling water in manmade containers provides a breeding ground for mosquito habitats. Property owners are encouraged to check for these potential breeding sites and eliminate the presence of standing water to reduce risk.
Local officials are asked to remind residents about the importance of taking personal precautions to prevent mosquito bites by placing information and a prevention message on community websites, cable access channels, city marquees, and in printed newsletters.
People who experience symptoms commonly associated with West Nile Virus such as high fever, headaches, muscle aches, vomiting and loss of appetite within 2-15 days after a mosquito bite should contact a doctor.
Please contact the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to report areas of persistent standing water or heavy populations of biting mosquitoes at 216-201-2000. You may also visit us online at www.ccbh.net
**For more information about West Nile Virus, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/wnv_factsheet.htm