West Nile identification affects events in Madison Twp.: What we know today

School summer break and community activities were happening mostly as normal Tuesday in the wake of the potentially dangerous West Nile Virus being found in mosquitoes in this rural Butler County township.

As first reported by the Journal-News on Monday, Madison officials used social media to publish news of mosquitoes carrying the virus being discovered Monday afternoon in a pond in Community Park.

Located just a half mile from the pond sealed off with “caution” tape and treated with mosquito poisons, students nearby at Madison schools’ K-12 campus carried on their practices learning marching band songs and color guard formations with one added routine: spraying on insect repellent.

ExploreMORE: West Nile Virus discovery has school, township issuing warnings

Anti-mosquito protection was a last-minute addition to a planned “Community Clean Up” event at the school late Tuesday afternoon, which usually draws dozens of volunteers.

“Make sure you wear your bug spray,” Madison schools Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff told participants beforehand. “And we will also have bug spray at the event.”

That’s exactly one of the main things residents in the township are being advised to do, said Butler County health officials.

“While the public does not need to panic, now is a good time to focus on prevention,” said Jennifer Bailer, health commissioner for Butler County, in a statement released Tuesday afternoon by her department.

Lori Landis, nursing director for the department, said “taking simple precautions like using bug spray and wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors can prevent potentially serious diseases caused by the bite of infected mosquito.”

The Butler County health department monitors mosquitoes in the county, and for the first time this season collected insects that tested positive for West Nile virus at the Madison Township Community Park in the 5600 block of West Alexandria next to the township’s administration building.

Todd Farler, administrator for the the township, said the county health department also dropped off insect repellent, mosquito “dunks” - small rings of poison to be thrown into standing water to kill mosquitoes and their larvae - and window screen repair kits to distribute for free to residents requesting them.

“We are in constant contact with the Butler County Health Department and we want to reassure everybody there is no outbreak and their have been no (cases of) infections,” of the West Nile Virus, Farler told the Journal-News.

Carrie Yeager, environmental health director for the county health department said officials “will continue to conduct surveillance activities to monitor mosquitoes in the county.”

Local health officials also said surrounding counties have identified positive mosquito pools, including Hamilton County.

Last year, the Ohio Department of Health reported 65 cases of West Nile virus in humans, including six deaths.

According to the township’s Facebook posting, “historically Butler County (and others throughout the state) have mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus every summer.”

Madison Kassandra Charlesworth, director of the Madison Mohawk Color Guard, didn’t let the health concerns slow down the her team she was directing outside in the parking of Madison High School.

“We had everyone put on bug (repellent) spray today. We wanted to make everyone is safe and protected,” Charlesworth said.

For more information on the West Nile Virus and mosquito prevention, visit the county health department’s website.

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