Mahoning County Public Health officials are reporting the discovery of mosquitoes infected with the West Nile Virus in the county.

A news release from the health department says the mosquitoes were caught in a surveillance trap in the county.

Environmental Health Director Colton Masters tells 21 News that the infected mosquito was found at Yellow Creek in Struthers.

Masters says the discovery indicates that the mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are present in the county.

The three most common mosquito-borne diseases that occur locally are Lacrosse Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus.

Early symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease may include nausea, fever, vomiting, and headache. More serious cases include drowsiness, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, and possibly seizures.

 If you have any of these symptoms and have a history of recent mosquito bites, contact your physician.

So far this year, there have been no human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Mahoning County.

West Nile Virus is detected and reported in counties throughout Northeast Ohio yearly, and the virus becomes more prevalent in mosquito populations in the later summer months and into early fall.

The best protection against mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile Virus, is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Tips to avoid possible mosquito bites include:

  • If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, and socks.
  • Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.

Tips to eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:

  • Remove water-holding containers, such as tin cans and unused flowerpots.
  • Eliminate standing water.
  • Make sure all roof gutters are properly draining and clean.
  • Keep children’s wading pools empty and, on their sides, when they are not being used.