West Nile Virus found in Licking County
NEWARK - The first evidence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Licking County was detected in a dead bird found in Newark Township, the Licking County Health Department said last week. This is the first week in 2007 that any WNV infected birds, including one from Licking County and two from Lucas County, have been identified in Ohio. Seven counties, including Franklin, have identified WNV positive mosquitoes. Only one human case had been reported for Ohio as of last Friday.
"While mosquito populations, and WNV activity, have been low so far this year, the virus is active in Ohio and will likely spread to more humans before summer's end." said Licking County Health Commissioner Joe Ebel.
The Licking County Health Department conducts a mosquito control program each summer, which includes collecting dead birds and trapping mosquitoes for testing, as well as applying larvacide and spraying adulticide to control mosquito populations.
"West Nile virus is serious, but it is also preventable," Ebel said. "A few simple steps can help to ensure that you and your loved ones enjoy a healthy summer."
* When possible, avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are likely to be biting.
* If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, cover up by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Light colors are less attractive to mosquitoes.
* Use mosquito repellent according to label directions.
* Keep windows and doors closed and be sure screens are in good repair.
* Remove all discarded tires from your property.
* Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
* Make sure roof gutters drain properly, clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
* Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. If not in use, keep empty and covered.
* Drain water from pool covers.
* Change the water in bird baths at least once a week.
* Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, and other items which collect water, when not in use.
* Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property.
For more information contact the Licking County Health Department at (740) 349-6535, or visit www.lickingcohealth.org.