Delaware General Health District Commissioner Sheila Hiddleson attended the June 1 Sunbury Village Council meeting to present an update on health district activities and note summer-related health risks.
“There are three things to be aware of over the summer months,” Hiddleson said. “First, all area swimming pools are licensed and open. We’re encouraging folks to be aware that diseases can be spread by water. Shower before you get in a swimming pool, and make sure babies wear swimming diapers.”
Hiddleson said summer months are when ticks and mosquitoes are abundant. She said mosquito populations are tested and a one-mile radius area is sprayed if West Nile Virus is detected.
Hiddleson recommended wearing light-colored clothing to discourage ticks.
“If you find an embedded tick, put it in a baggie with the date and time and put it in your freezer,” Hiddleson said. “If you get sick later on, you’ll have that for the doctor to test.”
Hiddleson said the Delaware General Health District is preparing for any Zika virus outbreak, though it’s unlikely that an outbreak in Ohio would be mosquito-borne.
According to the World Health Organization website, Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions. Sexual transmission of Zika virus is also possible. Other modes of transmission such as blood transfusion are being investigated.
“Zika virus is in the news, but the mosquitoes that carry it don’t typically come this far north,” Hiddleson said. “Several people in Ohio do have Zika virus. Those people are being followed.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093