AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Austintown Local Schools was notified four days ago that mosquitoes on its property tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
The school district sent out a press release about the findings on Tuesday afternoon.
The mosquitoes were trapped in the wetland area of the school’s campus by the Mahoning County District Board of Health. On August 18, the health department applied larvicide to the area to prevent the hatching of mosquitoes.
The health department also inspected several retention ponds on campus but found no standing water, which could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Due to the discovery, the district isn’t allowing students to use the wetlands for education this fall.
“We are taking a proactive approach to address this issue. There will be signs posted to notify students, and we are working with an insect control company, which will be fogging areas on the property to get rid of any existing adult mosquitoes in the area,” said Superintendent Vincent Colaluca.
The district also plans to purchase an EPA-approved spray for athletes who practice near the wetlands.
Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus have been discovered in 29 Ohio counties, including Mahoning and Columbiana counties, the area health departments recently announced.
No human cases have been reported in Mahoning and Columbiana counties.
The CDC says most people infected do not have symptoms, but about 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.
Symptoms may include headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash.
If you have any of these symptoms and have a history of recent mosquito bites, you should contact your doctor.