SHARON TWP. — West Nile virus has been detected in Medina County.
A recent sample of mosquitoes taken from Sharon Community Park, 6640 Ridge Road, tested positive for the virus, the Medina County Health Department said in a news release Friday.
The department said it’s the first positive test result of 2017.
West Nile has been detected in mosquitoes, but the department said there have been no human cases reported this year in Ohio.
Information about Ohio’s history with West Nile is available at www.odh.ohio.gov/wnv.
“These findings are not surprising,” Environmental Health Director Colin Johnson said in a statement. “Essentially, we found a positive sample because we were looking for one. There is no reason for the residents of Sharon Township to change their daily activities.”
As a precautionary measure, the department said it began working with the township in May to identify and treat potential mosquito breeding sites in and around the park.
The department said officials use a larvicide tablet on the bottom of a catch basin for up to 180 days that is slowly released through the summer. Other types of larvicides are used in roadside ditches and areas that gather standing water.
As part of a statewide mosquito surveillance program, the health department said it collects weekly mosquito samples at 14 locations throughout the county.
“We’ve increased our surveillance program in an effort to provide more information and education about West Nile virus,” Johnson said.
About 80 percent of people who are infected with the virus will not immediately show any symptoms. Symptoms typically develop about three to 14 days after the initial bite.
The department advises the use of repellents containing DEET — also known as picaridin, IR3535 — plus some oil of lemon eucalyptus or para menthane-diol when outdoors. Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn.
Mosquito breeding sites can be prevented by:
- emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels
- changing water in pet dishes and replacing water in bird baths weekly
- checking screens on windows and doors
- drilling holes in tire swings so water drains out
- keeping children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when not in use.
For information about the Medina County Health Department mosquito control program or West Nile virus, visit www.medinahealth.org or call (330) 723-9688, option 3.