BATAVIA – The Ohio Department of Health is reporting Ohio’s first case of human West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2017. The first case is a 44-year old male Clermont County resident. He is recovering from mild illness.
In 2016, there were 17 human cases of WNV in Ohio, including two in Clermont County. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 200 people in 28 states have tested positive for WNV so far in 2017.
People most often get WNV through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes are infected when they bite an infected bird. Once infected, they can spread the virus to people or other animals.
WNV is found throughout the United States and can be contracted anywhere there is a mosquito carrying the virus. The affected individual recently returned home to Clermont County after traveling out of state.
Most people infected with WNV do not show any illness, but about 20 percent may show symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, or diarrhea. In extremely rare cases, (less than one percent) the virus can cause severe illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, or even death.
“Late summer is when WNV cases usually appear in Ohio”, said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “Our best advice is to protect yourself and your family from being bitten by wearing insect repellant, and eliminate any standing water in your yard where mosquitoes can lay eggs.”
As part of a Mosquito Control Grant, Clermont County Public Health has been trapping and monitoring mosquitoes throughout the county, and responding to standing water complaints. According to the Ohio Department of Health, 43 Ohio counties are conducting mosquito surveys, and 19 of those counties have found WNV in the mosquito population.
To avoid mosquito bites, citizens are encouraged to:
• Use EPA registered insect repellent and follow the label directions.
• Wear long sleeves or long pants and cover as much of your skin as possible when you are outside, especially between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
• Check your window and door screens to make sure there are no holes to allow mosquitoes in your home.
• Eliminate standing water in your yard, where mosquitoes can breed.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit http://www.odh.ohio.gov/wnv
# # #