BELLVILLE — Richland Public Health officials have been notified by the Ohio Department of Health, that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes in Jefferson Township.
Jefferson Township covers some parts of Bellville.
The Health Deaprtment said this is the second positive test for mosquitoes in Richland County. The positive sample came from one of the 76 mosquito trap locations set by Richland Public Health so far this season.
“To be very clear, this is not a human infection case, but our second positive WNV mosquito sample this year,” Joe Harrod, Director of Environmental Health at Richland Public Health, stated. “It is possible we will continue to have positive WNV infected mosquitoes in future tests. The important take away is that WNV is present in Richland County and residents should take appropriate precautions.”
Health Department officials have already sprayed the two WNV positive areas to discourage transmittal of the mosquito-borne illness to residents.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus. When it causes symptoms, they are generally mild and often mimic the flu. In extreme cases, WNV can cause Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), Meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and the spinal cord) or death. Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Those who develop symptoms usually do so between three to 14 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection and care is based on symptoms. The best way to prevent West Nile Virus is to prevent mosquito bites.
Richland Public Health’s Mosquito Control Program treats, sprays, and conducts surveillance throughout the season to monitor disease in mosquito populations throughout the county. Residents are encouraged to remove standing water and take precautions to protect themselves and loved ones from mosquito bites.