NEGLEY, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana County Health Department reported earlier this week that another horse in the county had contracted West Nile virus, bringing the total in Ohio to 12.
Coming into contact with the virus this time of year is rare and is most likely related to the weather. West Nile is spread by mosquitos. The insects thrive in warm, moist climates, and since it has been so warm this fall, mosquitos have lived longer than average.
“This was the second horse. The first horse was actually in the western side of the county in the East Rochester area, and this one was over by Negley,” said Lori Barnes, environmental director of the Columbiana County Health Department. “A lot of the mosquitos probably died off, so the threat is not here right now, but we are going into another vector that could cause disease also.”
The other disease the health department is worried about is Lyme disease.
Hunters and outdoorsman are now finding ticks in the woods.
People should not only take steps to protect their animals but themselves as well. It is recommended if you are outside in tall grass to wear long sleeves and light-colored clothing to spot the ticks.