POMEROY — The Meigs County Health Department, working with the Ohio Department of Health’s Zoonotic Disease program, conducted mosquito trapping at several locations in Meigs County.
On July 13 and again on Aug. 10, mosquitoes found in several villages, parks and the fairgrounds were gathered for testing.
Steve Swatzel, director of environmental health for the Meigs County Health Department, said heavy rains that occurred during the Meigs County Fair, followed by hot, dry conditions, provided the stagnant pools of water ideal for breeding mosquitoes.
“This has led to more mosquitoes and more concerns from citizens regarding mosquito-borne diseases,” Swatzel said.
Mosquito trapping is a type of surveillance used to determine the kind of mosquito found in these areas and for the presence of the West Nile virus. Ohio laboratories are not testing mosquitoes for the Zika virus at this time, since the mosquito known to carry the virus are located only in states in the southern U.S.
The statewide mosquito surveillance program is looking for high populations of the Asian Tiger mosquito and to test other mosquito species for the West Nile virus.
The results of the recent trappings in Meigs County were of the 2,200 mosquitoes identified there, are Asian Tiger mosquitoes, but no West Nile Virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Most people infected with WNV will not manifest symptoms. About 1 in 5 people will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1 percent of those infected develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness.
While there is much concern about the Zika virus, there is nothing to indicate that the type of mosquito responsible for carrying the disease is found in Ohio. There is a species of mosquito, known as the “Asian Tiger,” that lives in Ohio and is closely related to the one that carries Zika, but this particular mosquito is not known to carry the Zika virus.
The health department is hopeful the results of the testing will alleviate concerns about West Nile and Zika for Meigs residents.
For information on prevention messaging, surveillance or for up-to-date mosquito-borne disease information, see the ODH-ZDP mosquito website (www.odh.ohio.gov/mosquitoes) or contact the Meigs County Health Department at 740-992-6626
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext. 2551.