Ohio agency stops mosquito testing for West Nile

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Department of Health will no longer test mosquitoes for West Nile virus.

A spokeswoman tells The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/ZHxIYk ) the testing program had a yearly budget of about $265,000, but Ohio is stopping that work because of a federal funding cut.

Some local agencies trapped mosquitoes and used the state to conduct or confirm initial tests.

Now, Columbus plans its own testing to guide efforts to contain the virus and the mosquito population. Surrounding Franklin County plans to use a less accurate test, and the Delaware General Health District plans to have its mosquitoes tested in Pennsylvania.

Licking County’s health commissioner says it can’t afford testing and will rely on educated guesswork about where to spray to kill the pests.

Some counties don’t test for West Nile virus.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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