SPRINGFIELD — West Nile virus has been found in some mosquitoes in central Ohio, but local officials are not overly concerned about the potential return of the virus to the area.
Franklin County found three pools of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus and began spraying earlier this week. Clark County and Champaign County health officials said they do not test mosquitoes.
Clark County Combined Health District Director Charles Patterson said there have not been reports of West Nile locally that would cause the district to do sampling.
He said testing usually has to be done in the evenings, which can require overtime pay and further deplete already limited resources.
Patterson said the county is focusing education efforts on other insect-borne diseases.
“We’re pretty sure that most of the public is aware of how to prevent mosquito bites,” he said.
Clark County had one case of West Nile virus confirmed in 2005, but no cases since. Data dating back to 2005 shows no confirmed cases in Champaign County.
West Nile virus is most dangerous to people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms can include headaches, muscle aches or a mild fever.
In 2011, the Ohio Department of Health tested 8,472 pools of mosquitoes in 23 counties across the state; 586 tested positive.
Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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