GALION- Andrea Barnes, Director of Environmental Health at the Galion City Health Department received confirmation from the Ohio Department of Health of the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a pool of mosquitoes from a trap that was set in Galion. This is the first reported WNV mosquito pool found in the City of Galion corporation limits this season.
The Galion City Health Department began mosquito surveillance activities this summer through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). The positive pool was collected in Galion on August 20 and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) laboratory confirmed a sample had tested positive for WNV on August 30th, 2022. The City of Galion has been spraying for mosquitoes throughout the summer.
Mosquitoes are an all too familiar part of summer/ early fall. They are not only annoying, but they present a potential health risk as carriers of disease. Eliminating mosquito habitats around your home can go a long way to reduce the mosquito population. Eliminate standing water whenever possible: every 5 days, bird baths and baby pools should be emptied to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. The Galion City Health Department has free mosquito dunks available to Galion City residents and businesses to place in sources of standing water. The dunks prevent mosquito larvae growth. It is also recommended to use insect repellant as directed by the label, wear protective clothing at dawn and dusk, and repair window/door screens. GCHD also has free mosquito repellent wipes and screen repair kits from an Ohio EPA grant.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. 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. Data also indicates that 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. 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.