LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) cautions residents about an increase in the number of West Nile Virus (WNV)-positive mosquitoes in Lake County, as in the rest of the country, due to dry weather conditions. So far in 2012, Lake County has not had any WNV cases in humans. The very young, the elderly and people who have compromised immune systems are at greatest risk for WNV and should be extra cautious to avoid mosquitoes. In some parts of the country, 2012 has been the worst year for the number of WNV-positive mosquitoes and human WNV cases.
LCGHD, in cooperation with the ODH, will continue surveillance and will continue to find, eliminate, and treat mosquito-breeding sites. WNV 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.
- Get rid of natural (puddles) and artificial (containers) sources of standing water.
- 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.
- Contact the health department with concerns about malfunctioning septic systems.
- Avoid being outside at dawn/dusk. If you cannot avoid those times, use a repellent.
- Use an insect repellent containing Picaridin 10% or less DEET (N, N-diethyl-methyl-meta-tolumide) for children – no more than 30% DEET for adults. Use repellents according to label instructions.
- Wear 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 are "bug tight." Repair or replace torn screens.
- Call the LCGHD if you have a concern about standing water that may be breeding mosquitoes. If it is on private property, permission is needed to enter the property.
Birds act as a reservoir host of WNV, and then mosquitoes become infected by feeding on them. Residents may report dead bird locations which will be mapped to document potential virus activity.
If any resident has questions about mosquito control, WNV, or wishes to report a dead bird location, please call the LCGHD at (440) 350-2543. Additional WNV and mosquito information can be found at:
Ohio Dept. of Health http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhPrograms/dis/zoonoses/wnv/wnv1.aspx