West Nile Virus in Ohio

West Nile virus (WNV) is a growing concern for residents in Ohio. This mosquito-borne illness has become a prominent public health issue in recent years, and Ohio is not immune to its risks. Ohio typically sees a seasonal pattern of WNV cases, with higher risk during the summer and early fall when mosquito activity is at its peak. Preventive measures, such as mosquito control and public awareness campaigns, are in place to reduce the risk of infection.

Northern House Mosquito

Most people in Ohio contract West Nile virus from the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, and then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.

Northern house mosquitoes are known as “rain barrel mosquitoes” because of their breeding habits. This species of mosquito lays eggs in standing water, in areas such as sewers, pools, gutters, bird baths, and old tires. While many species of mosquitoes lay eggs in summer or fall and then die, the northern house mosquito overwinters as an adult, waiting until the next spring to lay their eggs.

West Nile Virus Cases in Ohio

Northern house mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are found across Ohio wherever suitable breeding habitats are found. The highest rate of WNV infections is primarily observed in the northern and western regions of the state.

West Nile virus cases have been confirmed every year since 2001 in Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Public Health, “an average of 58 human cases [of West Nile virus] are reported each year in Ohio.”

West Nile virus cases in Ohio

West Nile virus infection can occur anytime during mosquito season, which typically runs from May through October in Ohio.  Most cases of WNV are reported in July through October.

In 2023, West Nile virus cases have been reported in Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Montgomery counties.

Preventing West Nile Virus

Steps to prevent West Nile virus infection include avoiding mosquito bites and stopping mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home.

MissQuito of Northeast Cleveland

MissQuito of Northeast Cleveland is here to help Ohio residents reduce their risk of contracting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. Our mosquito control programs include targeted spraying and larval control measures to reduce the mosquito populations around your home. By managing mosquito populations, MissQuito plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of our customers during mosquito season. Allowing you to enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind!

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