Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus found in Mahoning, Columbiana counties

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Mosquitos with the West Nile Virus have been found in Mahoning and Columbiana County, according to the county’s District Board of Health.

The Mahoning County Board of Health trapped mosquitoes, which were tested by the Ohio Department of Health. Some of those mosquitoes were found to be carrying the virus. Columbiana County said some of its mosquitoes that were tested had West Nile Virus as well.

No human cases were found in Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

Ohio’s first case of the West Nile Virus among humans was reported this week in Clermont County.

Columbiana County Health Commissioner Wes Vins said there are 29 counties in Ohio that were found with mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile Virus.

“We’re encouraging residents to protect themselves by utilizing EPA-approved insect repellant, wearing long sleeves, being cautious at dawn and dusk as well as emptying containers that might hold water around the home or on the property to prevent habitat for breeding of mosquitoes,” he said.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat West Nile Virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC says most people infected do not have symptoms, but about 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

Symptoms may include headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash.

If you have any of these symptoms and have a history of recent mosquito bites, you should contact your doctor.

The Mahoning County District Board of Health released the following tips to protect against mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile Virus:

  • If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, and socks.
  • Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.

Tips to eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:

  • Remove water-holding containers, such as tin cans and unused flower pots.
  • Eliminate standing water.
  • Make sure all roof gutters are properly draining and clean.
  • Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they are not being used.

You can find more information on Ohio Department of Health’s website.