Upper Arlington News

West Nile virus

No mosquito fogging scheduled in UA so far

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Despite a rainy start to summer, Franklin County Public Health officials last week said mosquitoes haven't become a problem in Upper Arlington.

Currently, FCPH -- formerly the Franklin County Health Board -- has no plans to fog for mosquitoes in UA.

A county health official said July 18 the agency has maintained a trap in the northern portion of the city and one in the south section of town since mid-May. So far, no mosquitoes trapped locally have tested positive for West Nile virus.

"For this year, the numbers in Upper Arlington look really, really good," said Charlie Broschart, FCPH environmental health division manager. "They're one of the communities that have fewer catches."

Broschart said his agency continues to monitor Upper Arlington and other communities in the county after mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus were discovered in Dublin and Hamilton Township.

According FCPH, West Nile virus is a disease transmitted to people from the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus attacks the central nervous system, causing symptoms ranging from fever and headaches to encephalitis, which can be fatal.

However, the risk of catching West Nile virus is low, although people older than 50 and those with compromised immune systems are the most likely to display symptoms.

The city website indicates mosquito fogging hasn't occurred in UA since Aug. 25, 2011.

Still, city officials are once again asking for the public's help to quell the pest's population.

"Because the Ohio Department of Public Health is not testing mosquitoes this year and FCPH is only testing 15 pools per jurisdiction this summer, personal protection is key," said Beth Sharb, Upper Arlington community affairs coordinator.

"Be sure to empty out any containers with standing water -- birdbaths or pet water dishes, for example -- use insect repellent that contains DEET and avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active."

In addition to trapping, Broschart said FCPH treats catch basins in Upper Arlington, as well as areas of standing water.

Residents also can request a mosquito analysis to be conducted on their properties.

Possible problem areas on either private or public land can be reported online by going to myfcph.org or by calling the Franklin County Public Health "bite line" at 614-525-2483.

Broschart said how an area is treated for mosquitoes depends on the situation.

"We have pesticides we use in different situations," he said. "Some are bacteria that we can put in the water. They only harm mosquitoes. They don't harm humans or animals."

Last year, six mosquitoes with West Nile virus were found in Upper Arlington, which he said was "expected."

The highest number of human cases reported in Ohio was 441 in 2002.

Possible problem areas for mosquitoes on either private or public land can be reported online at myfcph.org or by calling the Franklin County Public Health "bite line" at 614-525-2483.

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