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The Galion City Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health have confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a mosquito trap from Galion. This is the first reported WNV mosquito pool found in Galion this season.
GCHD began mosquito surveillance activities this summer through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The positive pool was collected in Galion on July 20 and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) laboratory confirmed a sample had tested positive for WNV on August 7.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.
In an effort to reduce the mosquito population locally, GCHD has mosquito dunks available to Galion residents and businesses free of charge. They can be placed in sources of standing water in order to prevent mosquito larvae growth. Dunks are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. They are also provided at the Utility Office every Thursday from 2-4 p.m.
The City of Galion regularly conducts mosquito spraying throughout the summer. Spraying was done most recently on August 5 and 6.
Eliminating standing water around your home can also go a long way to reduce the mosquito population. It is also recommended to use insect repellant as directed by the label, wear protective clothing at dawn and dusk, and repair window/door screens.
Most individuals who are infected with WNV will not experience any illness. People who are 50 years of age and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop serious symptoms when infected with WNV. Data also indicates that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.
Symptoms experienced by about 20 to 30 percent of people infected with the West Nile Virus are similar to the flu, including fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash and swollen glands. Symptoms of more severe disease can include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures and paralysis. People with symptoms should consult their doctor.