West Nile virus detected in Canton after mosquito samples test positive

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Canton City Public Health (CCPH) has announced that two mosquito samples collected as part of their mosquito abatement program have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The Ohio Department of Health Laboratory confirmed that the samples were trapped at Stadium Park and Thurman Munson Stadium.

WNV is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States, spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms of the virus, which appear in about 20% of cases, include fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

CCPH vector control staff are actively working to combat the spread of the virus by larviciding and removing areas of stagnant water. The first round of mosquito spraying began on Friday, June 21, and will be completed on Tuesday, July 2. Additional spraying is planned throughout the summer months. Larviciding targets mosquitoes at the larval stage, while spraying focuses on adult mosquitoes.

With the presence of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus confirmed in the community, CCPH encourages Canton residents to “Fight the Bite” by following these preventative measures:

  • Limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito activity (early morning and late evening).
  • Use an approved insect repellent when outdoors.
  • Wear lightweight long pants and shirts.
  • Remove sources of stagnant water around your home and yard, such as buckets, old tires, tarps, and other items that hold water.
  • Change water in pet dishes daily.
  • Drain and clean bird baths at least weekly.
  • Keep swimming pools clean and chlorinated with water circulating (even if not being used).
  • Keep gutters clean.
  • Repair window and door screens.
  • Dispose of old, unused tires at a legal tire disposal facility. Canton residents can dispose of 10 tires per person per year for free at the Canton Recycling Center (742 Schroyer Ave. SW). Schedule an appointment at: www.timetorecycle.org/resources/schedule-an-appointment/ or call 1-800-678-9839.

For more information on how to Fight the Bite, visit www.cantonhealth.org. Questions can be directed to Gus Dria, Environmental Health Supervisor, at [email protected] or 330-438-4647.