LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - The Lake County General Health District announces that the Ohio Department of Health has confirmed one positive mosquito pool for West Nile Virus in Lake County.
A "pool" is a collection of no more than 50 mosquitoes. Although this particular positive pool was collected near the Painesville/Mentor border on June 12, it is likely that positive WNV mosquitoes are present throughout the county. This is confirmation that the WNV threat is present and will likely increase for the rest of the summer. Over the years, it has been common to find a positive WNV mosquito pool during this time of year.
Due to the lack of rain and extreme heat so far this summer, the local mosquito population appears to be smaller from last year's population levels. Despite this, the types of mosquitoes that may be infected with WNV can increase from normal levels, as they are more resistant to drought conditions and more readily spread the virus within the resident bird population, which serves as the host for WNV.
Fourteen additional positive Ohio WNV mosquitoes have also been reported in Franklin (10) and Summit (4) counties this season. In 2011, Ohio had 586 WNV positive mosquito pools from 8,436 total pools tested (totaling 290,840 mosquitoes). Twenty-one human WNV cases were reported in Ohio during 2011, including one fatal case and one human WNV case in Lake County in 2011. In 2011, Lake County also experienced a human LaCrosse Encephalitis case.
In response to these confirmed positives, the LCGHD, in cooperation with the ODH, will continue surveillance and will continue to find, eliminate, and treat mosquito-breeding sites. Please remember that WNV is constantly present in Lake County and Ohio since 2001 and will continue to be a long-term, public health threat. Do your part to control breeding sites. Here are some tips for homeowners to reduce the risk of WNV.
· Dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, plastic covers or other containers that collect and hold water.
· Keep roof gutters unclogged. Clean gutters in the spring and fall.
· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them covered when empty.
· Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted trays at least once a week, if not more often.
· Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas and either remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
· Contact your local health department with concerns regarding malfunctioning septic systems.
· Get rid of standing water around animal watering troughs.
· Water lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.
· Avoid being outside at dawn/dusk. If you cannot avoid those times, use an insect repellent.