West Nile Virus rates increasing in Clermont County mosquitoes

As summer comes to a close, West Nile Virus activity in local mosquitoes is increasing. Clermont County Public Health has been trapping mosquitoes this summer and has had 10 positive tests for West Nile Virus.

Statewide, there have been 1,984 positive tests for West Nile Virus in mosquitoes. The virus has been found in mosquito populations in 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

West Nile Virus is a disease that can spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Anyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito can get sick, but in Ohio, the highest risk is to people over the age of 50. Only about 20 percent of the people infected with the virus will have symptoms of the illness that includes:

“With a higher number of mosquitoes carrying the virus this year, the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito are higher too,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “We encourage everyone to protect themselves from being bitten, and get rid of places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.”

The type of mosquito that most commonly carries West Nile Virus likes to lay eggs in small areas of standing water like ditches, clogged rain gutters, flower pots, buckets, or other containers that can hold rainwater.

Mosquito season increases near the end of summer and continues into October. Usually, the first hard frost of the year will kill most adult mosquitoes.

To protect yourself from mosquito bites

For more information and the most up-to-date numbers of mosquitos trapped visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

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Photo: Tyler Braasch, a sanitarian with Clermont County Public Health checks a mosquito trap

Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) is dedicated to the mission of striving to improve Clermont County by preventing disease, promoting health, and protecting the environment. For more information, visit http://www.ccphohio.org.