MCPH receives grant to fight Zika

Staff Reports

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Public Health (MCPH) announced that it has been awarded $5,000 in grant funding from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to re-establish a mosquito surveillance and education program. This grant will allow MCPH to perform mosquito surveillance, create educational material, purchase larval control products, and mosquito repellent.

Mosquito surveillance will be done with specialized traps that collect mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can then be sent to Ohio Department of Health (ODH) for identification or testing. In addition to surveillance, MCPH will also be able to provide clients with educational materials and insect repellant. Since Zika poses a risk of serious birth defects, these items can be provided to clients in the pre-natal clinic, reproductive health clinic, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clients, as well as travel vaccination participants.

“These funds will help us monitor mosquito activity in Miami County as well as educate the public on how to protect themselves and their families from mosquito related diseases such as Zika,” said Dennis Propes, health commissioner, Miami County Public Health.

Zika virus is a disease primarily transmitted by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects and fetal brain defects.

There is no indication that Zika can spread person to person through casual contact. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported several cases of Zika virus infection in non-travelers in the continental United States after their sexual partners returned from an affected area and developed symptoms.