CIRCLEVILLE— Mosquitoes are more than just annoying, they can also be a path for people to catch a potentially dangerous virus.
The Pickaway County General Health District received a grant from the Ohio EPA to perform mosquito surveillance this summer.
“The Mosquito Control Grant program continues to be a major success,” Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson said. “This funding helps our local partners identify the types of mosquitoes and what diseases might be present. It also helps fund local efforts to remove scrap tires and other materials. To put it simply, fewer scrap tires in a community means fewer mosquitoes and lower potential for sickness.”
“As we begin spending more time outside during these warmer months, it is important to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and the diseases they carry,” said Dr. Acton. “These grants will help implement mosquito control measures and ultimately keep Ohioans safe.”
The total amount of grant funding the Ohio EPA is making available to 30 counties and five cities is $659,000. Pickaway County’s share is $22,680.
Nasandra Wright, health commissioner for the Pickaway County General Health District, said although most mosquitos are just a nuisance, they can still be dangerous.
“Mosquito bites can be more than just itchy and irritating,” she said. “They can spread viruses that make you sick, or in rare cases, cause death.”
The program PCGHD runs allows the intern to trap and test adult mosquitos and eliminate mosquito larva and breeding habitats.
“These measures will reduce the number of misquotes and therefore the number of cases of mosquito-borne illnesses,” Wright said.
In 2018 the PCGHD collected 4,200 mosquitoes and had 40 positive tests for West Nile Virus.
“With the wet year we have had so far, we expect higher numbers of mosquitos and therefore more positive mosquitos,” she said. “Residents can help by emptying any outside container that holds water for more than seven to 10 days, including tires.