Mosquitoes Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in Butler County
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HAMILTON - Mosquitoes collected in Butler County tested positive for West Nile virus on Friday, July 26. Public health officials are being proactive and urging people to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and the diseases they may carry.
Jennifer Bailer Health Commissioner for Butler County wants the public to know, "while the public does not need to panic, now is a good time to focus on prevention. Help the county eliminate sources of standing water on your property to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching and developing into biting adults that spread the disease."
West Nile virus is a disease that affects the central nervous system. It can be passed from mosquitoes to humans. Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash and body aches. Contact your healthcare provider or go to an urgent care facility if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Butler County General Health District (BCGHD) monitors mosquitoes in the county, and for the first time this season collected insects tested positive for West Nile virus. Carrie Yeager Environmental Health Director for BCGHD said, “We will continue to conduct surveillance activities to monitor mosquitoes in the county.”
Surrounding counties also have identified positive mosquito pools including Hamilton County. Last year the Ohio Department of Health reported 65 cases of West Nile virus in humans, including 6 deaths.
"Taking simple precautions like using bug spray and wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors can prevent potentially serious diseases caused by the bite of infected mosquito," said Lori Landis Nursing Director for BCGHD.
To minimize mosquito populations and prevent bites, health officials suggest the following:
• Drain standing water
• Change the water in the birdbaths and wading pools daily
•Wear long sleeve shirts and pants
• Use EPA-registered insect repellents
• West Nile Virus has been detected in a variety of bird species, especially crows and jays. Report abnormal dead bird sightings to BCGHD by calling 513-863-1770.
The BCGHD provides free “dunks” to residents. For more information call 513-863-1770. Dunks kill mosquito larvae, but is harmless to birds, fish, wildlife, and pets.
To learn more about West Nile virus and mosquito prevention visit BCGHD's website at health.bcohio.us and ohio.gov/mosquitos for the Ohio Department of Health website.