Thursday, July 10, 2003

W. Nile back, tests confirm

Mosquitoes in Dent infected

By Tim Bonfield
The Cincinnati Enquirer

If the dead blue jay found in late June in Anderson Township wasn't convincing enough, health officials now confirm that mosquitoes buzzing around in Dent are carrying the West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes trapped on Nathaniel Glen Drive in Dent, in Green Township, have tested positive for the West Nile virus, the illness that struck 441 Ohio residents last summer and killed 31 - the nation's third-worst outbreak.

West Nile symptoms range from flu-like illness to life-threatening meningitis and encephalitis.

While the odds of being bitten by an infected mosquito remain low, even in Dent, health officials say residents would be wise to take precautions.

Steps include wearing mosquito repellent containing DEET, eliminating sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, and using "dunks" - doughnut-shaped biscuits of mosquito-larva killing chemical - in standing water that cannot be drained.

In Green Township, the confirmed presence of the virus in mosquitoes has prompted officials to begin canvassing a 2-mile area surrounding Nathaniel Glen Drive.

"We will be looking for areas of standing water, making sure swimming pools are operating properly and advising residents on precautions they can take to avoid mosquito bites," said Chris Eddy, director of environmental health for the Health District.

So far this year, West Nile virus has been detected in 28 states, including a confirmed human case in South Carolina, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hamilton is one of five counties in Ohio where West Nile virus has been detected in birds, mosquitoes or horses. Three counties in Kentucky and six counties in Indiana - including Dearborn County - have reported West Nile virus activity this year.


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