While the chill of fall has been in the air lately, Wood County Commissioners say they're still getting concerns from residents about the effects of West Nile Virus.
"(A previous speaker) came down with a cold, and he was sure it was West Nile," says commissioner Rick Modesitt. "I think there's a lot of fear in the community, especially among our older people."
The Wood County Health Department says it's the first freeze, not a cold snap, which kills off mosquitoes for good at the end of a season. That, along with personal prevention measures, is what health officials believe is the best way of warding off the disease.
According to Gary Hamilton, the health department's executive director, "West Virginia is approaching it from a standpoint that we need to develop programs for education, and also monitoring, surveillance and testing."
Some communities this summer did spraying as a way of warding off disease-carrying mosquitoes. But Wood County Health officials say that's not always effective.
"Spraying is very tricky," Hamilton says. "It has to be done at times when the weather and atmospheric conditions are perfect; when we truly have a hot spot. You can randomly spray all over the place and it doesn't accomplish much."
Meanwhile, health officials are still awaiting word from the Centers for Disease Control on the definite cause of death of a 78-year-old Parkersburg man last month.
Hamilton says, however, that all other tests conducted on the man indicate West Nile was the cause of his death.
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Source: www.vdh.state.va.us contributed to this report