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SHAKER HEIGHTS -- Swat, smack, squish. Mosquitoes, the summertime battle everybody fights, have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Shaker Heights.

Health officials say it is not unusual for infected mosquitoes to be found this time of year, noting that somewere identified in Shaker Heights last year, too.

"The density of mosquitoes in Shaker Heights remains low, making infection less likely," Shaker Heights Health Commissioner Scott Frank said. "But West Nile Virus is a potentially serious infection so all members of the community should take this health threat seriously and use personal protection measures to prevent infection."

Frank anticipates infected mosquitoes will likely remain a problem into early fall.

A total of 374 West Nile Virus mosquito pools have been identified statewide by the Ohio Department of Health this year. One clinical human case has been confirmed in southwestern Ohio.

If you experience symptoms commonly associated with West Nile Virus such as high fever, headaches, muscle aches, vomiting and loss of appetite within two-15 days after a mosquito bite you should contact a doctor.

The Shaker Heights Health Department has established a West Nile Virus Information Line at 216-491-3170. That number can be used to leave questions about West Nile Virus and to report areas of persistent standing water or heavy populations of biting mosquitoes.

Ways to prevent mosquito activity and reduce human exposure:

- Dispose of containers that collect water such as buckets, scrap tires, cans, and flower pots.

- Eliminate areas of standing water.

- Repair leaky outdoor faucets that leave puddles.

- Empty and refill bird baths at least once a week.

- Clean, drain and cover pools or hot tubs if not in use.

- Unclog all gutters and drains.

- Fill tree holes with tar or cement.

- Tightly screen all openings of your home.

- Keep children indoors during times of peak mosquito activity - one hour before and one hour after sunset.

- Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs.

- Use insect repellent on both skin and clothing. Repellents should contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil for skin and permethrin for clothing. Follow label directions.

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