West Nile virus detected in Portsmouth mosquitoes

'Mega mosquitoes' up to 20 times larger than normal invading Carolinas

PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK)—According to the Director of Scioto County Emergency Management, Larry Mullins, the West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes in Portsmouth, Ohio for the first time in 2021.

The Portsmouth City Health Department released the following information:

“The presence of WNV was confirmed today by the Oho Department of Health Laboratory in a mosquito sample collected on July 21st. No human or animal cases of WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been detected so far this year.  There is no elevated risk level or risk-level change associated with this finding. PCHD will continue mosquito fogging.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health, most people in the region are infected with WNV by the northern house mosquito or Culex pipiens. Those mosquitoes typically become infected from feeding on birds, and then they spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.

The first case of WNV detected in the U.S. was in New York City in 1999, and it only took a few years for it to spread across the country. It first came to Ohio in 2001, and the first human cases and deaths were reported the following year.

WNV is said to be established in Ohio, and cases occur every year. Seasonal epidemics are possible under certain conditions in the summer and fall.

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