VINTON COUNTY, OH (WOWK) — The Vinton County Health Department in Ohio said health officials have found West Nile Virus in a “mosquito pool” in the county.
According to the health department, the pool was part of their regular surveillance activities in McArthur. Officials with the VCHD say their Environmental Health Division will be going into the area where the pool was detected to treat the surrounding area.
While the treatment is ongoing, health officials are urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate any potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes. Mosquitoes can live in both indoor and outdoor conditions, and some types bite during dusk and dawn, others do bite during the daytime hours.
This discovery comes just after the CDC announced the first case of West Nile Virus in West Virginia for 2023 in Hardy County. CDC officials said the transmission was discovered through blood donation. The case in West Virginia made for 27 states reporting a case of the virus, with more than 190 cases countrywide so far for this year as of August 15.
According to the VCHD, a bite from an infected mosquito is the primary way West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans. Some symptoms of the virus include a fever, headaches, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, joint aches or a rash. Though less than 1% of those infected develop them, the virus can also cause serious neurologic illness, encephalitis or meningitis, the VCHD says.
Health officials said there are not any medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile Virus.
Some tips you can follow to avoid a mosquito bite, according to the VCHD, include:
- Use EPA-registered repellents and follow the label instructions
- Wear long sleeves, long pants and long socks outdoors in areas where mosquitoes could be. Be cautious in high temperatures to avoid heat-related illness.
- Treat clothing and outdoor gear with a product containing permethrin, or buy clothing or gear that has been pre-treated with it. Permethrin should not be applied directly to skin.
- Spray your clothing with an EPA-registered repellent for extra protection as some mosquitoes can bite through clothing.
- Mosquito-proof your home by repairing or installing screens on windows and doors.
- Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, birdbaths, etc., to help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home.
The VCHD says they also have mosquito dunks and repellant available at the health department.