Delaware General Health District Cautions Ostrander Residents of Mosquito-Borne Illness


UPDATED: Wednesday July 31, 2013 2:46 PM

The Delaware General Health District is informing residents how to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases.

The health department was notified Tuesday that an Ostrander resident was hospitalized with symptoms of La Crosse Encephalitis.

On Wednesday, about a half dozen public health employees took their message on the road.

Their mission was to go from house to house, knocking on doors and informing residents of the recent case of a rare disease.
 
“Today, we just want to make the citizens aware out here that there has been a suspect case of La Crosse Encephalitis,” said Adam Howard, program manager of residential services for the Delaware General Health District.

Howard says he and the others who went door-to-door were also looking for open trash cans, outdoor children’s toys and bird baths, and basically anything that could collect standing water.  

The disease and the recent case caught some residents off guard.

“Never heard of it.  It's a little disturbing; I know mosquitoes have been really bad around here this year,” said Louis Liphart, Ostrander resident.

The sanitarians and nurses dropped off pamphlets at every house.

The pamphlets contained information about the three mosquito-borne illnesses that have been detected in the area over the years: West Nile Virus, La Crosse Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis

“Anytime we find a mosquito-borne disease, we want to make sure we are taking the actions necessary to try and help eliminate it in the area,” added Howard.
 
Health officials said La Crosse Encephalitis typically occurs in children 16 years of age and younger. Symptoms can include vomiting, headache, fever and fatigue.

They said a few cases of La Crosse Encephalitis were reported in Delaware County in 2011. One additional case has been reported this year in Cuyahoga County.

Health district employees will be back out in Ostrander Thursday evening. Crews will begin fogging the area for mosquitoes around 9 p.m.

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