Health department responds to local West Nile

Health department responds to local West Nile

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The Tuscarawas County Health Department has been conducting trapping for the culex species of mosquito throughout the summer in Tuscarawas County.

The health department has trapped and submitted over 3,000 mosquitoes to the Ohio Department of Health for testing. TCHD was notified on July 27 by the Ohio Department of Health a pool of mosquitoes collected on July 20 at 11067 Fort Laurens Road NW in Bolivar has tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The health department responded to the positive pool according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conducted mosquito spraying in Bolivar on July 28.

Spraying also will take place in this area again in approximately two weeks. More information will be released at a later date.

Persons with respiratory problems should take appropriate actions to remain indoors while spraying is occurring.

West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is most commonly spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1-in-5 people who are infected will develop a fever and other symptoms.

Symptoms of West Nile virus

Most people with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.

About 1-in-5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with febrile illness due to West Nile virus recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Prevention

Residents are encouraged to follow the following guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health to avoid mosquito bites:

—Use insect repellent when you go outdoors.+++

—When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.

—Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent will provide extra protection.

—Take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours and take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

—Ways to mosquito-proof your home include installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside, using air-conditioning if you have it, and helping reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and bird baths on a regular basis.

Taking these steps will help protect against mosquito-borne diseases including WNV, La Crosse virus and Zika virus. For a complete list of mosquito-control activities completed this year by TCHD, visit www.tchdnow.org/mosquito-control.html or call 330-343-5550.