The decision by the Ohio Health Department to cancel testing mosquitoes for the West Nile virus won't stop the testing in Summit County.
Summit County Health Department Environmental Health Supervisor Terry Tuttle tells AkronNewsNow the County will fund it's own West Nile testing for the first time. " We're going to be funding it through our mosquito funds, which come from general revenue, and we'll begin testing probably in late June."
Tuttle says the county health department is funding the mosquito testing program by changing its mosquito spraying program. Up until this year widespread areas of the county were sprayed to control the mosquito population, but this year only areas where the West Nile Virus has been found, and what are considered nuisance insect areas will be sprayed.
Terry Tuttle says the county health department will no longer have to rely on sending the mosquitoes elsewhere for testing. " We will be getting the results immediately. We won't be shipping them out. We'll be testing them at our facility here at the health department."
As to why the county decided to continue the testing Tuttle says, " The reason we're going to continue to test is because the infection rate varies so much from year to year. So we like to know what the infection rates are so that we can determine where to spray."
Now that the Ohio Health Department will cease to fund the testing for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus local health boards in the state's counties will have to decide if they're going to fund their own West Nile testing.
Summit County Health Department Environmental Test Supervisor Terry Tuttle tells AkronNewsNow the county is studying three options to continue the testing of mosquitoes for the virus. " Number one would be we don't test, number two we test ourselves, or number three we send the mosquitoes out of state to private companies to test, which is extremely expensive."
Tuttle says he believes it's important to track mosquitoes for West Nile, but it would be expensive. He says the Board Of Health and the Summit County Health Department will decide what the county does about the mosquito testing.
There have been seven deaths from West Nile in Ohio.
Our unusually warm winter and spring and recent rainfall will mean a bumper crop of mosquitoes this year according to Terry Tuttle, Environmental Health Supervisor for the Summit County Health Department.
Tuttle tells AkronNewsNow " At this point we anticipate at least initially a higher number of mosquitoes than normal due to the very mild winter we had. There's going to be a lot of larval activity, probably early hatch-offs, but it's going to depend too on the weather we have from now on."
Tuttle says rainy weather will just make the problem worse. He says this is the first time in the many years he's worked for the health department that mosquitoes were hatching in March.
Terry Tuttle says better stock up on mosquito repellent. " Effective mosquito repellents are made up of an active ingredient called DEET. THat's a short name for a very long chemical, but it's always on the container. And you can use 10 to 20%, adults probably 30%, kids 10%, and no chemicals for infants," says Tuttle.
Mosquitoes can carry the West Nile Virus and other diseases.
He says the best way to reduce the mosquito population around your house is to remove any standing water that can turn into a breeding ground for the pests.
As for when the county's mosquito spraying program will begin, Tuttle says it depends on where they find concentrations of mosquitoes. "Our spray schedule is based on what we find out when we set our mosquito traps. So again that would be weather dependent. We don't set an early schedule. We got by what we find when we survey an area," says Tuttle.
Copyright © 2013 AkronNewsNow & Rubber City Radio Group |All Rights Reserved | 1795 West Market Street | Akron, OH 44313 | 330.869.9800