Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found in the Toledo area.
The mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus were captured on July 10 in Ottawa Hills by the Toledo Area Sanitary District, said Paul Bauman, biologist for the district. Mr. Bauman said, however, that mosquitoes captured a few days later, on July 15, from one trap in northern Ottawa Hills, did not show any signs of West Nile.
Toledo-Lucas County Health Department officials said there have been no confirmed cases of West Nile infection in people this year.
Mr. Bauman said sanitary district employees captured about 613 mosquitoes from five locations around Ottawa Hills on July 10.
“That is quite a lot of mosquitoes for one night,” he said.
About 30 mosquitoes per trap would be considered normal, but that day the crews found more than 100 mosquitoes per capture site, he said.
Sanitary crews sprayed the area with insecticide after discovering infected mosquitoes.
They followed up by collecting mosquitoes from a trap near Central Avenue in Ottawa Hills on July 15 and found a 93 percent drop in the number of the bugs.
“It went from 220 mosquitoes to about 15,” he said. Those mosquitoes were tested, and the results were negative for West Nile.
“We recently saw the same kind of activity of large numbers of mosquitoes in one trap in West Toledo,” Mr. Bauman said. He said crews treated the Five Points area in West Toledo with night fogging applications, and he is waiting for test results from the mosquitoes found in that trap.
Mr. Bauman said the West Nile season in Toledo is usually late summer to early fall. Although many people contract the West Nile virus each year, fatalities are rare.
A 57-year-old Toledo woman died last October from the virus. Her death was the first from West Nile in Lucas County in more than a decade. The woman already had a disease that compromised her immune system, making her more vulnerable to the virus.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 2,469 confirmed West Nile virus cases and 119 deaths in the United States last year.
The disease can cause serious neurological illnesses, such as meningitis and encephalitis. Its symptoms include high fever, confusion, muscle weakness, and a severe headache.
Mr. Bauman said the best way to fight the disease is to prevent bites by wearing mosquito repellent. He also urged being vigilant about looking for standing water in large containers and ornamental pools where mosquitoes like to breed.
“Make sure you are dumping those out, especially in a dry summer where there is not a lot of water around,” he said.
Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6091.