Whitehall News

Tests positive for West Nile virus

The first positive test for the West Nile virus in trapped mosquitoes was found in Hamilton Township, the Franklin County Public Health Department reported July 10.

The positive test was the first for the virus in Franklin County this season since testing and trapping began in mid-May, according to the health department.

The test was part of the department’s weekly surveillance, which includes 47 traps placed throughout Franklin County. The adult mosquito population is monitored weekly and tested for the West Nile virus.

In response the positive test, the health department will spray Hamilton Township, Shadeville, Reese and the village of Lockbourne beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 11.

The department reported a higher-than-average number of mosquitoes in traps this week in Mifflin Township, Prairie Township (north), Clinton Township (east) and Whitehall (west), and those areas will be sprayed beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 11.

The health department reiterates the finding is not unexpected and that the virus has been present in past seasons. The positive finding serves as a reminder for residents to take precautionary steps, such as using insect repellant with DEET, limiting outdoor activity at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, and emptying small pools of standing water at residences, such as those in the base of planters or objects that could collect rainwater, such as buckets and tires.

For more information on mosquitoes and West Nile virus, go online to myfcph.org. Residents also could call 614-525-2483 or go to the website to report problem areas in their community. Residents of Columbus should call 311.