West Nile Virus found in Lake County mosquito pools

West Nile Virus found in Lake County mosquito pools

LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - On July 30, the Lake County General Health District announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) confirmed three additional mosquito pools tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

A "pool" is a collection of no more than 50 mosquitoes. The Lake County General Health District staff collected the samples between July 9 and July 17. Area mosquito counts remain very low due to the unusual dryness; however the mosquitoes responsible for West Nile Virus prefer to breed in organic water that may be found in areas around malfunctioning septic systems and gutters clogged with decaying leaves.

By comparison, last year (2011) at this time there were 29 positive pools in Ohio. This year 374 pools have tested positive. One human case of WNV has been reported this year in Ohio. The earlier than normal increase in WNV activity this summer along with unusually hot and dry weather contribute to an increased risk for WNV transmission.

In response to these confirmed positives, the Lake County General Health District will continue to find and treat mosquito-breeding sites. Please remember that West Nile Virus is endemic 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 prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your backyard:

  • Dispose of tires, buckets, unused swimming pools, tarps or other items that collect and hold water.
  • Keep roof gutters unclogged. Clean gutters to keep them draining properly.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them covered if they are not maintained.
  • Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and at least once a week.
  • Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas and fill tree holes with mortar.
  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent standing water
  • Avoid being outside at dawn or dusk. If you cannot avoid those times, use an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin. Always follow label directions.
  • Wear light-colored, long sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks if you go outside when mosquitoes are most active (from dusk until dawn).
  • Make sure window and door screens fit properly and are in good repair.
  • Replace outdoor lights with yellow "bug lights".

Call the Lake County General Health District if you have a concern about standing water. If it is on private property, permission is needed to enter the property.