Ten mosquitoes collected in the county have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to Clermont County Public Health.
“With a higher number of mosquitoes carrying the virus this year, the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito are higher too,” Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit said in a press release. “We encourage everyone to protect themselves from being bitten, and get rid of places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.”
West Nile Virus is a disease that’s transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Anyone bitten by an infected mosquito can get sick, but only some 20 percent of the people infected with the virus show illness; in Ohio, the highest risk is to people older than 50 years of age.
Symptoms of the illness include fever, headache, body aches, vomiting and nausea.
Statewide, 1,984 mosquitoes have tested positive this year, and the virus has been found in populations in 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
The county trapped mosquitoes from June to August. The mosquito control program is funded through a grant, according to Keith Robinson, communications coordinator for CCPH.
“In Clermont County, we have only been trapping mosquitoes for testing since 2017. Last year, we did not have any test positive for WNV,” he said in an email. “In addition to having more positive tests in Clermont County this year, overall we have trapped a higher number of mosquitoes as well.”
He added, “One factor could be the above average amount of rainfall we have received this summer. Since mosquitoes breed in shallow pools of water, more rainfall means more places to lay eggs.”
The best way to prevent the virus is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home. The type of mosquito that most commonly carries West Nile Virus prefers to lay eggs in small areas of standing water like ditches, clogged rain gutters, flower pots, buckets, or other containers that can hold rainwater, according to CCPH.
–Get rid of any containers that can hold water.
– Use a mosquito dunk or larvicide for areas of standing water that can’t be drained.
– Keep yard grass cut short.
– Make sure your doors and windows have screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
Take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites by:
– Using an EPA-registered insect repellent when you’re outside.
– Wear long sleeves and long pants.
– Treat your clothes with permethrin to repel mosquitoes.
– Avoid being outside during early morning and evening, which are peak biting times.
Mosquito season increases near the end of summer and continues into October, and the first hard frost of the year will usually kill most adult mosquitoes, according to CCPH.
Tyler Braasch, pictured, a sanitarian with Clermont County Public Health, checks a mosquito trap. Photo provided.