County seeing more West Nile cases this year
Despite the dry summer and fewer mosquitoes, a larger number of incidents of West Nile virus has been found in Franklin County.
Dublin and other communities in central Ohio have been subject to more mosquito spraying as more mosquito pools test positive for West Nile virus.
While more mosquitoes were found in Dublin test pools last year, more mosquitoes this year are testing positive for West Nile virus.
"It's very interesting," said Mitzi Kline, Franklin County Public Health's director of communication.
"As we look at the data this year, there are fewer mosquitoes, but we are finding more disease in those mosquitoes," Kline said.
Franklin County Public Health does mosquito trap testing and spraying in Dublin.
According to Kline, as of Aug. 17 last year, 54 pools of mosquitoes had tested positive for West Nile virus in Franklin County.
So far this year, 113 pools have tested positive for the disease countywide.
Franklin County Public Health could continue testing pools through October, depending on the weather.
"We're about at the peak time right now," Kline said last week.
"Mid- to late August is the peak time for West Nile," she said.
"Human cases begin now and are reported into September because the testing takes so long," Kline said.
"We'll continue trapping mosquitoes through September and likely in mid-October depending on the weather.
"If it cools down at night into the 50s they aren't flying so we can't spray."
So far two human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Franklin County. One death has been reported in Ohio.
According to information from the Center on Disease Control, 1,118 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in people across the country and 41 have resulted in death so far.
"The 1,118 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to the CDC through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999," information from the CDC said.
The West Nile virus can lead to disease and illness that includes fever, body aches, coma, tremors, paralysis and convulsions.
About four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not develop any type of illness, the CDC said.
Kline said protecting yourself from West Nile virus is pretty simple.
"There are three simple tips: try to stay in at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active," she said. "Day mosquitoes aren't carrying disease. Disease-carrying mosquitoes tend to fly at dusk and dawn," Kline said.
If people are out at dusk and dawn, Kline recommended wearing DEET and EPA-approved insect repellent.
People should also eliminate standing water in their yards.
"Take a couple minutes and look around your yard," she said.
"Mosquitoes don't fly far. Any standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes."
For more information on spraying around Dublin and central Ohio, look at myfcph.org.