West Nile Virus Detected in Ross County Mosquitoes

The Ross County Health District is reporting that a West Nile positive mosquito trap has been found in Ross County.

The Ross County Health District’s Director of Environmental Health, Kelly Spindler, and Health Commissioner Garrett Guillozet announced Tuesday that the first group of mosquitoes to test positive in Ross County for West Nile Virus has been confirmed by the Ohio Department of Health. No human cases have been reported this season.

“We’ve known that West Nile Virus is in Ohio and likely in Ross County” said Spindler. “This is why it’s important to take the necessary precautions and watch for symptoms.”

The Ross County Health District urges everyone to take the following actions to stay healthy and bite-free:

  1. Dump out standing water around the home weekly
  2. Dress in long pants and long sleeves whenever possible
  3. Defend by using insect repellent containing any one of the following CDC-recommended ingredients: Picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (or PMD), or IR3535.

“It only takes one bite for a mosquito carrying West Nile virus to get you sick," warned Guillozet. "Protect yourself by remembering and following the three D’s - Dump, Dress and Defend.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), West Nile virus (WNV) is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eight out of ten individuals infected with the WNV, will not exhibit symptoms. But, about one in five will develop symptoms that include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or skin rash. The symptoms can last for several days to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus develop severe symptoms including convulsions, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death. People over 60 years of age and those with chronic health problems are at higher risk of severe illness. There is no vaccine for West Nile virus and no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection. While not all mosquitoes carry this virus, the type of mosquito that spreads this virus is found throughout Ross County.

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