Monday, July 13, 2015

West Nile risk elevated

Department of Health: Ohio is experiencing a rise in mosquitoes this summer due to heavy rains, bringing added risk of exposure to the West Nile Virus, according to state health officials.  So far, five areas have seen mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus, including Columbus along with Franklin, Richland, Summit, and Licking counties. To date, no human cases of the virus have been reported, the department said in a release.  ODH medical director Mary DiOrio said the positive tests are a good reminder that "individuals should take precautions - use insect repellents, limit exposure when mosquitoes are active, and remove breeding sources - to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites."  "There is more mosquito activity now than we've seen at this time of year for several years - but still much lower than in our WNV outbreak years of 2002 and 2012," Dr. DiOrio said.

To avoid possible infection, the ODH recommends:
·         Wearing EPA-registered mosquito repellants
·         Wearing long, loose, light-colored clothing
·         Installing or repairing screens on windows and doors
·         Removing temporary pools of water around your house or yard
·         Keeping children's wading pools empty and on their sides while not in use
·         Emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, birdbaths and other sources

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