Local sample tests positive for West Nile Virus

GALION — The West Nile Virus was found recently in a local mosquito trap.

This is the postive test reported in Galion this summer, said Galion Health Commissioner Trish Factor, who along with the Ohio Department of Health, confirmed the virus.

But there is no reason to panic, according to the health department.

Most individuals who are infected with WNV will not experience any illness. People who are 50 years of age and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop serious symptoms when infected with WNV.

The city has available dunks to help area residents better control the mosquito population. Read about it here.

Data also indicates those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness. Symptoms experienced by about 20 to 30 percent of people infected with the West Nile Virus are similar to the flu, including fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash and swollen glands.

Symptoms of more severe disease can include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures and paralysis. People with symptoms should consult their doctor.

The Galion Health Department received $18,000 in May from the Ohio EPA to help fight the mosquito population. Read about it here.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Galion City Health Department, www.galionhealth.org. Additional statistics and information may be found at www.odh.ohio.gov.

The positive sample that contained the virus was collected in Galion on July 20. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) laboratory confirmed a sample had tested positive for WNV on Aug. 7.

The City of Galion has been spraying for mosquitoes throughout the summer; it was most recently sprayed last weekend.

But there are ways residents can help this persistent summer problem, that do present a potential health risk as carriers of disease.

Eliminate standing water whenever possible: every five days, bird baths and baby pools should be emptied to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. The health department also has mosquito dunks available for Galion residents and businesses. The dunks can be placed in sources of standing water. They prevent mosquito larvae growth.

It is also recommended that residents use insect repellent as directed by the label, wear protective clothing at dawn and dusk, and repair window/door screens.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

You can take steps to reduce mosquitos on your property


Staff report