In a press release issued Tuesday, the Kent City Health Department [KCHD] announced that the Ohio Department of Health laboratory confirmed a mosquito pool collected recently tested positive for the West Nile Virus. 

A pool is a collection of 50 mosquitoes. According to the press release, this confirms that the threat of West Nile Virus is in the area and will persist for the remainder of the summer. To date, no human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Kent or Portage County. 

In response to the confirmed pools, KCHD will treat the affected areas. The lab tests confirmed the positive pools to be from early August at Jesse Smith Park and Kramer Field. 

Mosquitoes breed in standing water. According to the press release, the following tips can help to reduce the mosquito population:

  • Install or repair window and door screens so mosquitoes can not get inside. 

  • Keep gutters clean and free of standing water. 

  • Empty water at least twice a week from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, bird baths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans. 

  • Remove discarded tires and other items that could collect water. 

  • Be sure to check containers or trash in places that may be hard to see and can potentially hold water, such as under bushes or decks. 

The following tips can help prevent mosquito bites:

  • Use an insect repellant that contains DEET, picaridin, oil, lemon eucalyptus, or other EPA-approved active ingredients on skin and/or clothing. 

  • Avoid being outside at dawn and dusk. If you can not avoid these times, use an insect repellant. 

  • Avoid shaded and wooded areas where mosquitoes may be present.

  • Cover your skin when outdoors. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes. 

People with further concerns can call the KCHD at 330-678-8109 or visit KCHD’s website for more information about the mosquito control program.

Contact Maria McGinnis at mmcginn9@kent.edu.

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