The Franklin County Board of Health is optimistic that it will eradicate mosquitoes in Prairie Township that were found to be carrying the West Nile virus.

The Franklin County Board of Health is optimistic that it will eradicate mosquitoes in Prairie Township that were found to be carrying the West Nile virus.

Fogging for the mosquitoes occurred Monday, July 21, in the neighborhoods north of Johnson Road, south of Broad Street, east of Alton Road and west of Galloway Road.

Mitzi Kline, director of communications for the health board, said it is not unexpected to see the West Nile virus in mosquitoes. "It is very important to say that this is not uncommon," Kline said. "We don't want to scare people, but remind them how to protect themselves."

Kline said the health department monitors several traps located on residents' property. It was one of those traps in the southern portion of the township that contained mosquitoes which tested positive for the virus. It was the first such discovery in the county this season, she said.

Kline said there will be a follow-up test on the traps. The results will determine whether or not there is a need to spray again, she said.

In June, the county received a record monthly rainfall. Those rains led to a large number of mosquitoes, most of which do not contain the virus, she said.

The Culex mosquito, a type known to carry the West Nile virus, is usually active during the dawn and dusk hours, Kline said.

"The biggest thing we stress to residents is to remove anything with water," Kline said. "Any amount of standing water will breed hundreds of eggs."

Kline also suggests wearing insect repellent containing DEET and limiting outdoor activity at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are the most active.

For more information, visit the Franklin County Board of Health Web site at www. franklincountyohio.gov. Residents can also call 462-BITE to report problems with mosquitoes.