Mosquitoes in Silverton have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
Hamilton County Public Health Spokesman Mike Samet says no human infections have been reported yet, but people should still take precautions. That includes getting rid of standing water, applying larvicide to standing water that can't be drained, and using insect repellent. See more on the agency's "Drain, Dunk, Protect" effort below.
What is West Nile Virus (WNV)?
WNV is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. It is important to note that most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will never become sick. Everyone, however, should be aware of the symptoms of WNV. Symptoms may develop two to 14 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.
This is usually the time of year when WNV cases begin cropping up. However, Samet says Ohio has had a rather easy summer. "There are so many different hypotheses," says Samet. "We have a lot of rain and then it's dry for a while and then we get more rain. It's just a fact of nature."
Samet says about 20 percent of infected people show symptoms including fever, headaches, nausea and body aches. Less than one percent develop severe illnesses. However, children, the elderly and other high-risk individuals should be especially cautious.
Public Health staff will surveil the area along Placid Place where the infected mosquitoes were found.
The agency recommends you, "DRAIN, DUNK and PROTECT in an effort to reduce the mosquito population and prevent West Nile Virus."
- Look for and drain sources of standing water on your property – litter, tires, buckets, flower pots, wading pools and similar items that could create standing water and become mosquito breeding sites.
- Frequently change water in bird baths and pet bowls.
- Drain small puddles after heavy rainstorms.
- Apply mosquito larvicide sometimes called mosquito “dunks,” to areas of standing water that cannot be drained. The “dunks” are environmentally safe and won’t harm pets. Purchase them at your local hardware store.
- Cut your grass and trim shrubbery.
- Make sure screens in windows and doors are tight-fitting and free from defect.
- Wear long sleeves and pants during peak mosquito hours – dawn and dusk.
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always follow the directions on the package.
More on Symptons:
No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 70-80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.
Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have been sick for several weeks.
Serious Symptoms in a Few People. Less than one percent of 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.
While all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk, people over age 50 have the highest risk of developing severe WNV infections. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation.