TRUMBULL COUNTY Workers begin program to kill mosquitoes to stop virus
Complaints about mosquito breeding ponds have been flooding the health department.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
WARREN -- Workers from Trumbull County Health Department and Soil and Water Conservation District will begin killing mosquito larvae by casting a substance into ditches next week.
"We are going to do what we can for the rest of September and October, then next year we will make more of an effort to begin applying the larvicide in the spring," said John Woolard, urban specialist with the conservation district.
The focus on killing mosquitoes was prompted by widening concern about the West Nile virus, which has been linked to at least one Ohio death this summer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone in areas where the virus has been identified is at risk of getting it. The virus causes no symptoms or mild, flulike symptoms in most people. Sometimes, a more severe form of the disease can occur. People over 50 have a higher risk of contracting a severe form of the disease.
There is no clear link between a person's overall health and the risk of severe disease. The CDC is investigating whether people with compromised immune systems are more at risk.
On Wednesday, county commissioners approved buying $4,000 worth of larvicide on the recommendation of the Trumbull County Health Department, which is coordinating the county's effort. Several townships and cities already have their own anti-mosquito programs.
After a training program early next week, health department sanitarians and field workers from the conservation district will be ready to dispense the timed-release poison, which will be dropped in the stagnant pools of water where mosquitoes breed.
Complaints about mosquito breeding ponds have been flooding the health department with the increasing West Nile buzz, said Ted Smith, a health department sanitarian.
The larvicide program will focus on ditches and stagnant water in urban areas of the county, Woolard said. The poison is less effective in ponds and wetlands because of the volume of water involved.
Mosquitoes are active until the first killing frost of autumn, generally at the end of the first week in October, he said.
He said larvicide will not be applied to water on private property without the owner's permission.