West Nile Virus confirmed in more Portage County mosquitoes

More mosquitoes in Portage County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
More mosquitoes in Portage County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed additional mosquito pools collected recently in Portage County have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

According to the Portage County Health District, pools in Aurora, Freedom Township and Suffield were positive. The Kent City Health Department said a pool in the areas of the Horning Road and Holly Drive intersection and the Fairchild Athletic Fields tested positive. Last week, a pool in Rootstown was confirmed positive for West Nile Virus.

A “pool” is a collection of 50 mosquitoes from a location monitored for mosquito breeding. The Kent Health Department said to date, no human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Kent or Portage County.

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What is West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.

Cases occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent, or medications to treat, the virus.

Some people experience fever. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with febrile illness due to West Nile virus recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Tips to avoid possible infection from mosquito bites

There are several ways to help avoid mosquito bites, including:

  • Use an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil, lemon eucalyptus, or other EPA-approved active ingredients on skin and/or clothing.

  • Wear long, loose, light-colored clothing outside.

  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.

  • Avoid being outside at dawn and dusk. If you cannot avoid those times, use an insect repellant according to the label directions.

  • Avoid shaded and wooded areas where mosquitoes may be present.

Tips to reduce mosquito breeding around your home

Here are ways to reduce mosquito breeding:

  • Remove temporary pools of water around your house and yard.

  • Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.

  • Check containers or trash in places that may be hard to see for possible standing water.

  • Keep gutters clean and free of standing water.

Additional information on mosquitoes and West Nile Virus can be found on the Portage County Health District website at www.portagehealth.net, click on Environmental Public Health/Mosquito Information or on the Ohio Department of Health website at: www.odh.ohio.gov/wnv. You can also call the Kent City Health Department at 330-678-8109 or visit https://www.kentohio.org/243/Mosquito-Control.

This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: West Nile Virus confirmed in more Portage County mosquitoes