West Nile Virus Confirmed in City of Kent Mosquito
Kent, Ohio The City of Kent Health Department announces that the Ohio Department of Health laboratory (ODH) has confirmed two mosquito pools collected recently have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV). A pool is a collection of 50 mosquitoes. This is a confirmation that the WNV threat is in the area and will likely persist for the remainder of the summer. To date, no human cases of WNV have been reported in Kent or Portage County.
In response to the confirmed positives, the City of Kent Health Department will increase surveillance and treatment activities in Kent City and the surrounding areas.
There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.
Residents are reminded that mosquitoes breed in standing water. Please follow the tips listed below to help reduce the mosquito population:
Install or repair window and door screens so mosquitoes cannot get indoors.
Keep gutters clean and free of standing water.
Empty water at least twice a week from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans.
Remove discarded tires and other items that could collect water.
Be sure to check containers or trash in places that may be hard to see and can potentially hold water, such as under bushes or under your deck.
Tips to avoid mosquito bites include:
Use an insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil, lemon eucalyptus, or other EPA-approved active ingredients on skin and/or clothing.
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.
Cover your skin when outdoors. Wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.