Each summer, mosquitoes are a familiar biting pest in backyards, parks and campgrounds. Most are merely a nuisance and are not major vectors of diseases. In fact, only a few of the 59 species of mosquitoes in Ohio can transmit disease. However, the diseases these mosquitoes can carry are very serious ones, such as encephalitis and malaria in humans and heartworm in dogs. Therefore, it is always advisable to take preventive measures to protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites.
In addition to West Nile Virus, LaCrosse Encephalitis and Chikungunya Virus, Zika Virus primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes. Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can spread Zika Virus. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and can also bite at night. Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. Zika is linked to birth defects. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly that is a sign of incomplete brain development. If you have a partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika, do not have sex, or use condoms every time you have sex during your pregnancy. Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip. Returing travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites. If you get infected with Zika and a mosquito bites you, you can pass the virus to the mosquito. The infected mosquito bites other people, who get infected. Returning travelers should also use condoms or not have sex if they are concerned about passing it to their partners through sex.
You can reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas where you live, work and play.
Mosquito Prevention Information
Mosquito Bite Protection in Ohio
Ohio Department of Health Zika Fact Sheet
Ohio Department of Health Zika Fact Sheet – Spanish
Zika and Pregnancy Information
CDC Zika Travel Information
Zika Virus Information from the Centers for Disease Control
Fight the Bite
Fight the Bite – Child Friendly Version
ODH Reminder About Avoiding Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
Mosquito Information from the Ohio Department of Health
Ticks and Mosquitoes that carry diseases are increasing in concerning numbers throughout the State of Ohio.