State no longer paying for mosquito testing - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

State no longer paying for mosquito testing

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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -

The state is no longer paying for mosquito testing for the West Nile Virus.  Now that task falls on Cuyahoga County.

So, now we investigate whether the county has the money to pay for it.

The answer is, it depends.  But here's something we already know, it won't be long before blood-sucking mosquitos will begin to prey on us. 

Joe Lynch, program manager of the county's health department, was out looking for mosquito larva, "We found a mosquito lava in a woodland pool."

He also said checking for mosquito larva is an annual thing.  The county looks for the little buggers every week for about six weeks starting in early Spring. 

In Ohio last year there were 120 cases of West Nile Virus, seven of them were deadly.  Now we learn the state will no longer pay for the process to keep us disease free.

"We've been out for the last couple of weeks treating woodland pools and we do have backpack equipment, the larvicide is a couple thousand dollars, $10,000 every spring.  In the summer we treat a lot of catch basins in the city.  They hold water.  Then we spend about $30,000 buying larvicide for the catch basins."

The sequester is being blamed for the Cuyahoga County having to pick up the tab. The question becomes, can the county afford to pick up the tab?

Here's what Lynch told 19 Action News reporter Harry Boomer, "If we have too we'll get the money.  But right now we're going to see how things pan out."

Since the feds won't pay for the testing and spraying, Lynch says each of us has to take steps to try and control the mosquito population in our backyards.

"We've been stressing to the public using insect repellant, getting rid of standing water around their homes.  We think that's beginning to pay off."

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