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Asian tiger mosquitoes — one of two species capable of transmitting Zika virus — have been found in Lucas County for the first time ever, the Toledo Area Sanitary District announced Monday, though officials say there is no current disease threat for the Toledo area.
Mosquitoes in all life stages were identified in the area of Dorr Street and Westwood Avenue on Friday, said Paul Bauman, sanitary district general manager.
“We are treating the area to hopefully eliminate or at least contain those mosquitoes,” Mr. Bauman said. The disease risk for humans is “very slim,” he said, but it does open the door to travel-related cases spreading here.
“This mosquito is troublesome because it is a daytime biter and a real pest for people…[and] it’s been known to be developmentally capable of transmitting diseases that concern us,” Mr. Bauman said. Sanitary district employees will increase treatments and surveillance of the affected area in the coming days.
The district is asking people to check properties for standing water and empty any containers to reduce the opportunities for breeding.
“We really need people to do that, to look around your yard, your neighborhood, and look for places that are holding water,” he said. For containers too large to empty, residents can use a mosquito control containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, or BTI, available at home improvement stores.
A single Asian tiger mosquito was discovered in the county in 2009, Mr. Bauman said, but it could have been brought in through travel. This marks the first time the species has been identified here in all life stages, he said.
In 2016, the Asian tiger mosquito was found in 33 of the 63 Ohio counties where surveillance was conducted, according to the Ohio Department of Health. All but two counties — Cuyahoga and Summit — were in the southern half of the state. The state health department will publish another map after the season ends in October, according to spokesman Melanie Amato.
The Asian tiger mosquito, whose official name is Aedes albopictus, is one of two species known to spread the Zika virus, but has not yet been implicated in the transmission of human cases in the United States. It can also transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses; it is cold-tolerant and can survive through the winter.