The Ohio Department of Health will no longer test mosquitoes for West Nile Virus.
The testing program had a yearly budget of about $265,000, but Ohio is stopping that work because of a federal funding cut.
"Only about 26 of the 125 local health jurisdictions submitted mosquitoes to our state laboratory last summer," ODH spokesperson Tessie Pollock said.
Some local agencies trapped mosquitoes and used the state to conduct or confirm initial tests. Pollock says those agencies can either test on their own or contract with others to do the testing for them.
2012 was the worst year since 2002, the year West Nile Virus was discovered in Ohio. That first year Ohio saw 441 human cases and 31 deaths. Last year there were 121 human cases and 7 deaths. Both years saw similar numbers in test pools that came up positive for the disease.
"People are aware that it's in Ohio and they need to take precautions. A lot has changed over the last ten years," she said.