A recent response to the presence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes trapped in Upper Arlington had a significant effect on the biting bugs, according to county health officials.
Upper Arlington made it roughly two and a half months through what Franklin County Public Health officials dub "mosquito season" before the department fogged the southern portion of the city Aug. 12 -- and again on Aug. 20 when local rain impeded the first attempt.
According to Mitzi Kline, FCPH communications director, the foggings occurred after a pool of mosquitoes trapped on the city's south side tested positive for West Nile virus, a disease transmitted to people from the bite of an infected mosquito. It was the first time such action had been taken in Upper Arlington since Aug. 25, 2011.
Kline added that the preventive measures appear to have worked.
Prior to the foggings, she said, 107 mosquitoes were captured in the southern trap. Afterward, the trap turned up just 16.
"That's what we like to see after we spray," Kline said Aug. 29. "We don't have anything else scheduled in Upper Arlington, and we're scheduled out the rest of this week.
"The trap numbers were pretty low. So, unless we get another West Nile test, we shouldn't have to spray again."
Kline confirmed that a 38-year-old Columbus man recently was hospitalized with what was Franklin County's first human case of West Nile virus this year. He later recovered.
Statewide, four Ohioans were confirmed to have been infected with the virus as of Aug. 29.
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, according to the FCPH website. People older than 50 and those with compromised immune systems are the most likely to display symptoms.
Last year, FCPH found six mosquitoes with West Nile virus in Upper Arlington, which a department official in July said was "expected."
"It's not uncommon to see West Nile in mosquitoes out there," Kline said. "That's why we do weekly surveillance.
"When we see West Nile virus, that's when we do our spraying."
Kline said "mosquito season" in central Ohio generally spans from May through October, depending on how warm it is. She said July and August typically yield the most findings of West Nile virus, because it is passed from birds to mosquitoes.
This is just a good time to remind residents to wear mosquito repellent," she said. "Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn."
Additional information about West Nile virus is available at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/transmission/.