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West Nile virus in Village

Local mosquitoes tested positive last week for West Nile Virus, a potentially serious illness, prompting the Greene County Combined Health District to begin spraying insecticide in one village neighborhood.

The neighborhood, south from Brookside Drive and west from Spillan Road, will be sprayed with insecticides this week after laboratory tests revealed the presence of West Nile Virus locally in the Asian Tiger Mosquito. The testing occurred after a resident complained about high mosquito populations. It was the first case of a mosquito carrying the disease in Greene County since testing began in June (18 other counties have tested positive), according to the GCCHD. So far there is only one confirmed human case of West Nile Virus from a mosquito bite in Ohio. Another mosquito trap is set for the Southgate Avenue area later this week.
While about 80 percent of those infected with West Nile Virus will show no symptoms, up to 20 percent will experience fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A few people, about 1 in 150, develop severe symptoms, which can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis, permanent neurological effects and death. Symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks.

If any symptoms arise, villagers should call their doctor and obtain a West Nile Virus blood test, according to Mark ­Isaacson, program manager for the health district. Villagers are also advised to protect themselves, especially if they are out in the early morning or early evening hours, by using mosquito repellent containing DEET and wearing long sleeves and light-colored clothing. And they should remove areas of standing water on their properties, including rain gutters and birdbaths, since mosquitoes breed in water, Isaacson said.

The Village first learned about the positive test result last Friday. On Monday, the health district presented their plan to spray to the Village. According to Isaacson, Yellow Springs has a contract with the county health department to control mosquitoes. The insecticide being used — Anvil 2+2 (sumithrin and piperonyl butoxocide) — is designed to kill adult mosquitoes by releasing a fog that hangs in the area for 20 to 25 minutes, Isaacson said, and is safe for humans and animals.

Residents living in the area to be sprayed were given the opportunity to opt out by calling the health district by Tuesday to register their name and address.

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