AHS cautions about potential of West Nile virus

By Jeff Hens

In Kankakee County, there were 36 positive mosquito batches, two bird cases and two human cases of West Nile virus a year ago.

The Youngstown City Health District was notified Monday by the Ohio Department of Health that one of the mosquitoes tested from one of the local health district's traps was confirmed positive for carrying West Nile virus.

West Nile virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Blood from an OH blood donor also tested positive for West Nile, but they didn't have symptoms.

Steps to avoid contracting West Nile include using insect repellent with DEET, wearing long-sleeved, light coloured shirts, trousers and a hat while doing activities outdoors, or staying inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. No human or horse cases have been reported in CT this season. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

At least one mosquito from a group tested was infected, according to Clay County Mosquito Control.

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Mosquitoes need very little water to breed. People older than 60 and people with compromised immune systems have the greatest risk of developing severe complications.

Airplanes will spray a fine mist of an insecticide called Trumpet EC over sections of Elk Grove, the Pocket Neighborhood and neighborhoods south of Fruitridge Road.

Symptoms of the West Nile illness are usually mild.

Headaches and fevers are the most common symptoms and can surface between a few days to a few weeks after a bite. However most people make a full recovery. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

The Trumbull Health Department has a limited quantity of mosquito dunks available for residents.

Wear long sleeved shirts and long trousers, when appropriate. If it rains, the spraying will be done during the same hours Friday.

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