Mid-Ohio Valley Prepares For The West Nile Virus

By: Shannon Houser Email
By: Shannon Houser Email

If something's making you scratch and itch all day, it's probably a mosquito bite, and this year, these pests are coming with a much stronger bite. Kathleen Meckstroth, the Health Commissioner from the Washington County Health Department says, "West Nile in most people it's like a mild cold, it might be headache, fever, sore throat, a little bit of achiness, very similar to similar to cold or flu."

A recent confirmed case of The West Nile Virus came from a pool of water in Columbus, and Washington County Health Department Officials say there is a chance we could find a positive case in standing water here in the Mid Ohio Valley. "We always have people that are susceptible and if the mosquitoes are here then there is a possibility that we could see The West Nile Virus here," Meckstroth says.

The virus is a cause of encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, and can not be spread from one person to another. Most individuals never display symptoms at all, while few may suffer from fever, headaches or body aches and recover without any treatment. According to the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department 10% may suffer from more severe fevers, confusion, vomitting, stiff neck and stomach pain. Symptoms generally develop between 3-14 days after being bitten by the infected mosquito.

"This time of year, for this year specifically because we've had so much rain, we've got thousands of mosquitoes that are breeding all across everyone's yard," says Vienna Home Depot Store Manager, Arthur Hall. Mosquitoes actually only need about a teaspoon of water for an entire family to survive, and with heavy rains the chance of mosquito breeding is a lot higher."

"While you're operating outside, you should use some kind of thing to prevent mosquitoes from coming up on you," Hall recommends Using bug repellent that contains DEET, burning citronella candles, wearing long sleeved clothing, and emptying out any standing water, are a few ways to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your summer fun.

"And another good thing is to make sure that your gutters and drains are running properly and cleaned out too because that is another good breeding place," said Meckstroth

For more information and tips on how to keep mosquitoes and The West Nile Virus away from your family, click on the Hot Button.


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