LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) announces that the Ohio Department of Health laboratory has confirmed that two Lake County mosquito pools collected in mid-July have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
A "pool" is a collection of no more than 50 mosquitoes.
This is confirmation that the WNV threat is present throughout Lake County and will likely increase for the rest of the summer.
Across the state there have been over 30 mosquito pools found positive for West Nile Virus.
To date, there have been no human cases reported.
In response to these confirmed positives, the LCGHD will continue surveillance and will continue to find 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.
It is important to remember that mosquito bite prevention should be practiced at all times whether at home or away. Several human cases of LaCrosse encephalitis are being investigated among Ohio residents and one positive mosquito sample for St. Louis encephalitis was collected this year.
Ohio residents with travel histories outside the country have been affected by Malaria, Dengue, and Chikungunya.
Here are some tips for residents to reduce the risk of WNV or other mosquito-borne diseases:
• Dispose of bottles, cans, tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, plastic covers or other containers that collect and hold water.
• Keep roof gutters from becoming clogged. Clean gutters in the spring and fall.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them covered when not in use.
• 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.
• Use an insect repellents according to label directions. Wash treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.
• Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks if you go outside when mosquitoes are most active (from dusk until dawn).
• Make sure windows and doors 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 the location of dead bird that do not appear to have been killed by cars, cats or other animals. These locations will be mapped to document potential virus activity.
If any resident has questions concerning mosquito control, WNV, or wishes to report a dead bird location, please call the LCGHD at (440) 350-2543.