The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ottawa County Health Department are committed to public health by continuing its mosquito testing and surveillance program in Ottawa County. Ohio Department of Health has found seven positive mosquito pools for West Nile virus in Ottawa County including areas near Marblehead and Genoa.
While that is an increase from two positives to seven in recent days, there are no human cases reported at this time, emphasized Michelle M. Veliz, Public Information Officer and Health Educator with the Ottawa County Health Department
“Positive tests for West Nile virus are common, and there is no need for panic,” said Veliz. “While human cases are serious, they have not happened this year. We’re taking standard precautions and remain vigilant.”
West Nile virus can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The virus can cause a range of symptoms, from mild flu-like illness to severe neurological complications. As Ottawa County approaches the peak mosquito activity season, it is important for all residents to be informed and protect themselves and their communities.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus infections is by preventing mosquito bites. Residents can take the following steps to minimize the risk of contact with West Nile virus:
Use EPA-approved bug spray. When spending time outdoors, apply insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to skin and clothes. Follow the printed instructions for application.
Cover up. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks at dawn and dusk.
Remove standing water. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Remove any potential breeding sites around your property, including containers, tires, buckets, and flowerpots.
Keep Bugs Out. Make sure windows and doors have screens without tears or holes to keep mosquitoes from coming inside.
Stay informed. Watch for on local health updates and mosquito activity in your area.
The Ohio Department of Health will continue to work with local health departments, vector control agencies, and other community partners to provide updated information to control mosquitos and the spread of West Nile Virus and provide the public with information.
For more information about West Nile virus, visit the official ODH website at www.odh.ohio.gov.