Three More Mosquito Pools In Lake County Test Positive For West Nile
More than 10 times as many mosquito pools in Ohio have tested positive for West Nile Virus this year, according to the Lake County General Health District
Lake County General Health District has identified three more mosquito pools in the county that tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
This is in addition to the one that was identified earlier this month.
The health district's staff collected the samples from pools, which are collections of no more than 50 mosquitos, between July 9 and July 17.
Area mosquito counts remain very low due to the unusual dryness. However, the mosquitoes responsible for West Nile Virus prefer to breed in organic water that may be found in areas around malfunctioning septic systems and gutters clogged with decaying leaves.
By comparison, at this time in 2011, there were 29 positive pools in Ohio. This year, 374 pools have tested positive.
One human case of WNV has been reported this year in Ohio. The earlier than normal increase in WNV activity this summer, along with unusually hot and dry weather, contributes to an increased risk for WNV transmission.
The district added that West Nile Virus is endemic, meaning "common," in Lake County and Ohio since 2001 and will continue to be a long-term public health threat.
Here are ways to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus from LCGHD:
- 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.
- Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas and either remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
- Contact LCGHD with concerns about 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. If you cannot avoid those times, use a repellent. Use an insect repellent containing 10 percent or fewer DEET (N, N-diethyl-methyl-meta-tolumide) for children and no more than 30 percent DEET for adults. Use repellents containing DEET according to label instructions.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks if you go outside when mosquitoes are most active, which is from dusk until dawn.
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.” Repair or replace torn screens.
- Replace outdoor lights with yellow “bug lights.”
- Call the LCGHD if you have a concern about standing water that may be breeding mosquitoes. If it is on private property, permission is needed to enter the property.
Birds act as a host of West Nile Virus, and then mosquitoes become infected by feeding on them. But due to ODH budget cuts, dead birds are no longer being collected and tested for the virus.
Residents may report dead bird locations by calling LCGHD at 440-350-2543. These reports will be mapped to document potential virus activity.