The Licking County Health Department reported the first evidence of West Nile Virus in Licking County this year.
The health department conducted a test using two pools of mosquito traps and found mosquitoes in the pools tested positive for West Nile Virus.
The infected mosquitoes were found in Newark on West Main Street, near Tamarack Drive, and in Pataskala, near York Road and state Route 16. The health department plans to conduct mosquito spraying in the areas to prevent the risk posed by the disease.
Although there has been no case of West Nile Virus found in humans or horses in Licking County this year, Licking County Health Commissioner Joe Ebel said that he encouraged residents to take extra safety precautions especially during mosquito season.
“We expect to find West Nile Virus at some point during the mosquito season,” said Ebel.
The Licking County Health Department works to control West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases, and asks residents to take responsibility by eliminating mosquito breeding sites and taking personal protective measures to avoid bites.”
Here are some preventable ways residents are encouraged to take to avoid infection from mosquito bites:
• Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; if you must be outdoors, be sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks.
• Wear light colored clothing as mosquitoes are generally attracted to dark colors.
• Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.
In order to eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:
• Eliminate used tires, cans and areas of standing water from your property and empty water from flower pots, bird baths, and other containers weekly.
• Make sure all roof gutters are clean and properly draining.
• Clean and chlorinate pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty when not in use and drain water from pool covers.
If you have additional questions contact the Licking County Health Department at 740-349-6535 or visit www.lickingcohealth.org.
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