NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

Tuscarawas, Ohio - Area public health officials are encouraging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites after two pools of mosquitoes in the Village of Tuscarawas tested positive for West Nile virus.

The Tuscarawas County Health has been conducting trapping for the Culex species of mosquito throughout the summer and was notified on Tuesday that pools of mosquitoes collected near the Sharon Moravian Church and Tuscarawas Community Memorial Park had tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The Health Department will be responding to the positive pools according to Center for Disease Control guidelines and will be spraying within a two-mile radius of the positive and throughout Warwick Township. 

Spraying will be conducted on multiple occasions beginning on Monday, August 13, and will occur during evening hours.

“It’s always in the evening. You can only spray for mosquitoes when they’re actively biting and flying,” said Environmental Health Director Caroline Terakedis. 

In the event of rain, high winds or cold temperatures spraying will be postponed. Persons with respiratory problems should take appropriate actions to remain indoors while spraying is occurring. 

A total of seven pools in Tuscarawas County have tested positive for the virus this summer, however, Terakedis noted that several of those pools were collected from the same trap. 

In July, the department conducted spraying in Warren Township after learning that pools collected near the Township Garage had tested positive for the virus. 

To reduce their risk of exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses, residents are encouraged to follow the following guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health:

Avoid mosquito bites - It is important to prioritize personal protection to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Wear EPA-registered mosquito repellents whenever mosquitoes are present and follow label instructions.
  • Wear long, loose, light-colored clothing.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.

Help reduce mosquito breeding around your home - Get rid of potential mosquito breeding sites to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

  • Empty standing water from flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.
  • Consider using products containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available at many garden and home improvement stores, to control mosquito larvae in containers that are too large to empty.  Follow the label instructions.

Have all horses vaccinated against West Nile Virus - All horse owners should vaccinate their animals against West Nile Virus. Contact your vet to find out more information.

Terakedis noted that it is important for all residents to follow these guidelines regardless of whether they live near one of the positive pool locations. 

“We’ve had West Nile virus endemic here, which means it’s always here and it’s one of those things that you can exposed to, for quite some time in Tuscarawas County, so people should always be on the lookout, making sure that they are protecting themselves,” she said.

For information on mosquito control activities or for up-to-date mosquito-borne disease information, please visit www.tchdnow.org or call 330343.5550.


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