Remember to take precautions
Mosquitoes are very active this time of year. Coupled with recent heavy rains, the potential for even more mosquito activity is high. While Zika Virus commands headlines when discussing mosquito-borne illness, West Nile Virus (WNV) remains a threat in Hamilton County. To date, there have been six cases of Zika Virus – all of which have been travel-related, as well as one case of West Nile Virus in Hamilton County.
“It is important for residents to remember that we can all take action to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” Greg Kesterman, Assistant Health Commissioner says. “With great weather and end-ofsummer activities, many people will be enjoying the outdoors. We’re reminding folks to take precautions.”
Hamilton County Public Health advises all Hamilton County residents to DRAIN, DUNK and PROTECT in an effort to reduce the mosquito population and prevent West Nile Virus:
- Look for and drain sources of standing water on your property – litter, tires, buckets, flower pots, wading pools and similar items that could create standing water and become mosquito breeding sites.
- Frequently change water in bird baths and pet bowls.
- Drain small puddles after heavy rainstorms.
- Apply mosquito larvicide, sometimes called mosquito “dunks,” to areas of standing water that cannot be drained. The “dunks” are environmentally safe and won’t harm pets. Purchase them at your local hardware store.
- Cut your grass and trim shrubbery.
- Make sure screens in windows and doors are tight-fitting and free from defect.
- Wear long sleeves and pants during peak mosquito hours – dawn and dusk.
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon or eucalyptus. Always follow the directions on the package.
WNV is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. It is important to note that most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will never become sick. Everyone, however, should be aware of the symptoms of WNV. Symptoms may develop two-14 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.
No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 70-80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.
Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have been sick for several weeks.
Serious Symptoms in a Few People. Less than one percent of people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
While all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk, people over age 50 have the highest risk of developing severe WNV infections. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation. For more information on West Nile Virus, please contact Hamilton County Public Health at (513) 946-7800 or visit us online at www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org.
Posted by: HCPH