Olentangy Valley News

West Nile virus found near edge of Orange Township

Health district fogs after infected mosquitoes found in Columbus

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Mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus were found near Delaware County last week for the first time this summer.

The Delaware General Health District announced Monday, Aug. 4, it would fog for mosquitoes after three mosquitoes trapped the previous week by Columbus Public Health near Columbus' northern limits tested positive for the virus. The mosquitoes that tested positive were found in a trap less than a mile from the border between Columbus and Orange Township.

Traci Whittaker, spokeswoman for the Delaware General Health District, said the location resulted in a response from both Delaware County and Columbus, which already has treated its side of the border.

"We worked with Columbus Public Health and agreed that we would fog as well," she said.

Whittaker said the district typically does not fog an area unless mosquitoes testing positive for the virus are found in traps within the district's borders. The district serves all of Delaware County except the portions of the cities of Columbus, Dublin and Westerville that sit within southern Delaware County.

In this case, the district made an exception because the mosquitoes with the virus were found so close to district borders.

The Delaware General Health District scheduled its application for the area in Orange Township north of Polaris Parkway, east of the train tracks that intersect with East Powell Road, south of Maxwell Avenue and west of Interstate 71. The fogging was expected to take place between sunrise and midnight Wednesday, Aug. 6, on all public streets in the area.

Residents can ask to be placed on the county's "no-fog list" by calling 740-368-1700.

Whittaker said a few residents ask to be placed on the list every time the district announces it will spray for mosquitoes in an area. However, she said the district gets more complaints that it is not spraying enough.

She said other health districts, such as the Knox County Health Department, spray for mosquitoes even without the presence of a positive test.

This season, the district has two trap locations in the city of Delaware and one each in Ashley, Berlin Township, Genoa Township, Orange Township, Powell, Ostrander, Shawnee Hills and Sunbury.

Whittaker said it's not unusual to find a few mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus within the district each summer.

"We see one or more per year during the season but we (hadn't) come across (a positive test) yet," she said.

The West Nile virus usually produces minor symptoms, if any, in infected humans. The virus can, however, cause serious inflammation of the brain, especially in people with weak immune systems.

Symptoms of West Nile virus can include fever and severe headaches.

To avoid mosquito bites, the Delaware General Health District recommends:

• going inside at dusk.

• eliminating pools of standing water.

• using insect repellent.

• wearing long-sleeved shirts.

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