Health officials in Ohio and Washington are calling on people to protect themselves from mosquitoes after insects in these states have been tested positive for the West Nile virus.
Test results discovered on Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Health Mosquitoes near Alexandria, Johnstown and Harrison Township in Ohio had the virus. Washington officials also discovered a pool of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus in Benton County. The virus could potentially cause dangerous human health problems and is most commonly spread by mosquitoes, reports KEPR television.
"We deal with the West Nile virus every year, so it's kind of a routine for us from the beginning of the season," said Angela Beehler, district manager of Benton County Mosquito Control in Washington, to KEPR.
Mosquito spraying is already planned for the affected areas in Ohio as part of the Ohio Health Department's plan to control the pest population
West Nile virus symptoms include fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, and vomiting In severe cases, it can affect the nervous system, and trigger conditions including meningitis and brain inflammation called encephalitis, according to the National Institutes of Health .
Only one in 150 patients will develop severe symptoms, which can be fatal, and about 80 percent of those infected with West Nile do not show any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease and Control.
West Nile virus spreads throughout the mosquito season from summer to fall in all parts of the continental US, reports the CDC. In early June, a case was confirmed in Los Angeles County after a resident had been hospitalized.
"We just want to make sure people know it's here, take precautions," Beehler said.
Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and late at night, so be careful during these times.
Preventative measures include the elimination of the potential habitats of infected mosquitoes, including the elimination of residual water, where the big ones typically breed, and ensuring window and door screens. I have holes in, said Jared Dever, district manager of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, in a statement earlier this month.
To avoid mosquito bites, the CDC suggests that people can wear long-sleeved shirts and (19659002) "Once we see that mosquitoes are tested positive for West Nile virus, it will be a problem until we get to Coming to our first harsh frost, Dr. Amy Person, health officer in the Benton-Franklin County Health District, said KEPR.