By 1808Delaware

In a critical update from the Delaware Public Health District, it has been confirmed that the first cluster of mosquitoes this year to test positive for the West Nile virus (WNV) has been identified in Delaware County. The Ohio Department of Health verified these findings.

This significant development was discovered in the City of Powell, raising concerns for local citizens. Despite this, no human cases related to the virus have been reported as of yet.

The discovery comes as the city is holding the Powell Festival scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Registered environmental health specialists from the Health District will not be able to conduct fogging until after the conclusion of the festival due to logistical constraints. As such, the Public Health District is urging residents to adopt necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families safe from potential mosquito bites.

Primary prevention measures include eliminating standing water, a breeding ground for mosquitoes, from one’s property. Residents are encouraged to routinely check and clear areas such as flowerpots, bird baths, tarps, gutters, and any other locations where water may stagnate. In case of outdoor activities, wearing light-colored, long-sleeved clothing is recommended.

The use of insect repellents containing Picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (or PMD), or IR3535 is advised, with strict adherence to label instructions. For additional protection, spraying clothes with insect repellent is also suggested, as mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.

To support these preventive measures, Health District staff will be present at the Powell Festival, providing repellent wipes and screen mending kits in the vendor area. Following the festival, the Health District’s mosquito control team will initiate treatment of standing water and catch basins within the City of Powell.

The West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can lead to severe health complications such as inflammation of the spinal cord and brain. While the majority of people infected with WNV do not experience symptoms, around 20% may develop fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. In rare cases, infected individuals can develop severe diseases like encephalitis or meningitis. Residents are urged to be vigilant and proactive in taking necessary precautions against mosquito bites and to stay informed about the Health District’s mosquito control program through their official website, DelawareHealth.org/pest-disease-control.

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