A PLAGUE of mosquitos is making life hell for people visiting and living in Oak Park. One woman was bitten so badly that her wounds became infected and she was admitted to hospital. It took three courses of anti-biotics and steroids to clear up the infection, which was described as 'extremely painful'.
The problem has become so widespread that the council is removing debris and draining pools of stagnant water where the insects are believed to be breeding. Warning signs and dispensers of insect repellant have been placed at the park to alert people to the dangers.
'There is a lot of stagnant water with is a breeding ground for these insects,' said the council's director of services Seamus O'Connor. CLOUDS OF biting mosquitoes are causing havoc for visitors to Oak Park.
A number of people who received the bites contacted the paper to report swelling and pain and one women ended up being hospitalised after her wounds became infected.
Blister-like bumps are left on the skin which are said to itch somewhat but to also cause pain, swelling and seeping as the infection travels around the broken skin.
One individual, who asked not to be named, had to take a course of antibiotics to treat the infection along with steroids.
'I had no idea an insect bite from the park would cause so much pain,' she said.
' There are no warnings that the insect bites can be so harmful so I didn't think I needed to wear insect repellent.'
The same person then told how it took three courses of antibiotics to clear the infection in her leg and was also sent to St. Luke's hospital Kilkenny when the infection first appeared.
'I went to Oak Park daily to use the exercise facilities but I will now think twice before going without an insect repellent.'
Warning signs and dispensers of insect repellent had been placed at several points in the park and work is underway to remove a problem of stagnant water in the park which is believed to be the cause of the outbreak.
Oak Park opened to the public in 2006, and is run by the local authorities, Carlow Town Council and County Council, on land donated by Teagasc that was formerly its agricultural research station.
'We have had humid weather over the years,' said Director of Services with the Council Seamus O'Connor.
' There are insect repellent points around the place, especially near the toilets, and we keep these replenished. People just don't always think to use them.'
Remedial work is under way in Oak Park to remove damaged and rotten trees and undergrowth.
'Years ago a lot of work was done with the drainage when it was the Bruen estate but that has all clogged up now and there is a lot of stagnant water which is a breeding ground for these insects.
'Hopefully this work will eliminate that in the future.'