The Ohio Department of Health has notified the city's health department that mosquito traps in Shaker Heights and throughout the county have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
According to an ODH statement, 374 West Nile Virus-positive mosquito pools have been identified this year throughout the state. One human case has been confirmed in Southwest Ohio.
“The density of mosquitoes in Shaker Heights remains low, making infection less likely," Shaker Heights Health Commissioner Scott Frank said. "But West Nile Virus is a potentially serious infection so all members of the community should take this health threat seriously and use personal protection measures to prevent infection.”
Frank said infected mosquitoes are likely a problem through the remainder of summer and early fall. Peak time for mosquito activity is one hour before and after both sunrise and sunset.
Here are tips reduce exposure to mosquitoes from the Health Department:
- Dispose of containers that collect water such as buckets, scrap tires, cans, and flower pots.
- Eliminate areas of standing water. Also, repair leaky outdoor faucets that leave puddles and unclog all gutters and drains. During dry conditions, mosquitoes gather near available water sources.
- Empty and refill bird baths at least once a week.
- Clean, drain and cover pools or hot tubs if not in use.
- Fill tree holes with tar or cement.
- Tightly screen all openings of your home.
- Keep children indoors during times of peak mosquito activity.
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs.
- Use insect repellent on both skin and clothing. Repellents should contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil for skin and permethrin for clothing. Follow label directions.
Visit the Center for Disease Control's website for more information about the West Nile Virus. The Shaker Heights Health Department has also established a West Nile Virus information line at 216-491-3170.