WILMINGTON — Although there are no reports of West Nile virus in Clinton County, in neighboring Greene County the virus has been detected. The virus was confirmed through mosquito traps recently sent to the Ohio Department of Health.
“By monitoring and trapping mosquitoes, it gives us confirmation that the virus is present,” Debbie Leopold, Greene County Public Health Environmental Health Director, stated in a release. “Since West Nile virus has been detected, the community is being advised to protect themselves.”
Clinton County has not had any cases, said Pam Bauer, Clinton County health commissioner.
“We start to see an increase (of bites) during this time of year anyway,” she said. “I wouldn’t say there is an outbreak or epidemic (in Greene County).”
Even though there has not been a confirmed case of West Nile in Clinton County, Bauer said “no mosquito bite is a good bite” and reminded people to be careful when outside to avoid getting bitten.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information, as of Monday afternoon, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Greene County.
According to Leopold, the virus was found in a sample taken from the Beavercreek area in recent weeks.
According to the public health release, locals are advised to eliminate pools of standing water (birdbaths, gutters, old tires, unused pools, etc.), to avoid shaded areas where mosquitoes might be resting, to limit outdoor activity during evening hours, to wear protective clothing such as light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and to use insect repellents.
Leopold credited the regular rains the area has received this summer for higher numbers of mosquitoes.
“We see that mosquito life cycle has been plentiful this year because of the way that we’re consistently getting rain bursts throughout this area,” she said. “We’re not the only one, they’re seeing it across the state of Ohio.”
West Nile is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, according to the CDC.
“There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection,” CDC information about the virus states. “Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than one percent of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.”