LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — The Lake County General Health District issued a warning after West Nile Virus was found in three mosquitos.
The department tested a pool of mosquitoes from a trap in the central part of the county.
According to the department, the threat of West Nile Virus will likely increase for the remainder of the summer.
No human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Ohio.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20% of people who test positive develop a fever with symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
“West Nile Virus is native to Lake County and Ohio since 2001, and will continue to be a long-term public health threat.” Bert Mechenbier Environmental Health Supervisor for the LCGHD said.
Mechenbier suggested the following tips for homeowners to reduce the risk of getting the virus:
- Dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, plastic covers or other containers that collect and hold water.
- Keep roof gutters unclogged. Clean gutters in the spring and fall.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them covered when empty.
- 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.
- Check for water in children’s toys.
- Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas and either remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
- Contact the health department with concerns regarding malfunctioning septic systems.
- Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs.
- Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.
- Avoid being outside from dusk until dawn when mosquitoes are most active. If you cannot avoid those times, use an insect repellent.
- Use an insect repellent containing Picaridin or DEET. Use repellents according to label instructions. Take special care when using insect repellents on children. 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 window and door screens are “bug tight.” Repair or replace torn screens.