LICKING COUNTY, OHIO – The Licking County Health Department reported the first evidence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Licking County for 2011. One pool of mosquitoes collected from traps monitored by the health department has tested positive for WNV.
Health Commissioner, Joe Ebel, stated, "There have been no WNV positive bird, horse or human cases in Licking County so far this year, but this finding affirms the need for residents to take steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites and eliminate standing water to reduce their chances being infected by WNV.
All residents are encouraged to take the following personal protection measures to protect themselves and their loved ones against possible WNV infection:
To avoid possible infection from mosquito bites
"h Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; if you must be outdoors, be sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks.
"h Wear light colored clothing as mosquitoes are generally attracted to dark colors.
"h Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.To eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home
"h Eliminate all areas of standing water from your property such as discarded tires and other water-holding containers like tin cans and unused flower pots.
"h Make sure all roof gutters are clean and properly draining.
"h Clean and chlorinate pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty when not in use and drain water from pool covers.
"h Change water in bird baths weekly.
For more information, contact the Licking County Health Department at (740) 349-6535 or visit www.lickingcohealth.org.