West Nile Virus found in Clark County

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Clark County Combined Health District said Tuesday it found mosquitoes that tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The positive samples came from the southwest side of the City of Springfield.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes that can lead to severe fever, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

The CCCHd says the primary vector in Ohio is the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.

Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all, but there is no way to know in advance if you will develop an illness or not. Those who do develop symptoms usually do so between three to 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito:

  • Serious symptoms in a few people.  About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.  The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.  These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder symptoms in some people.  Up to 20 percent of people who become infected will have symptoms that can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.  Symptoms can last for a few days to as long as several weeks.
  • The CCCHD has sent an alert to the local medical community to facilitate quicker human diagnosis of West Nile Virus, and will continue to monitor the mosquito population.

Doctors at Kettering Health Network say that 80% of those infected with West Nile will never actually have symptoms.

There is no specific treatment for WNV infection, and care is based on symptoms, according to the CCCHD.

The best way to avoid the West Nile Virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites:

  • When outdoors, use repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.  Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn.  Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels.  Change the water in pet dishes, and replace the water in bird baths weekly.  Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.  Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.

Other CCCHD prevention activities:

  • The Clark County Combined Health District will host two scrap tire collection days.  Residents may bring up to 10 used passenger car or light truck tires per load to our office at 529 E. Home Road, Springfield, Oh 45503. On August 12th from 8AM until 2PM or to Tecumseh High School 830 W National Rd, New Carlisle, OH 45344 on August 19th from 8AM until 1PM for free disposal.
  • Nighttime mosquito fogging may begin as a control measure.  While safe for humans and pets, residents who have a concern about fogging may request the fog to not be released in front of their property by emailing the request and their address to environmental@ccchd.com.   Please email or call if you have any questions.

For more information contact the CCCHD at 937-390-5600 or go to our website at www.ccchd.com.

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