SUMMIT COUNTY, OH - The Summit County Health District has received a report of a confirmed case of La Crosse encephalitis which resulted in the death of a northern Summit County resident.
LA Crosse encephalitis (LACV) is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. Approximately 80-100 disease cases of LACV are reported in the United States each year and the disease does occur in the state of Ohio.
The mosquitoes that spread LACV are most active during the daytime and often make their homes in or near infested woods. The last reported case was nearly 10 years ago. There is no specific treatment for LACV infection-- care is based on symptoms.
LACV is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted person to person.
Many people infected with LACV have no apparent symptoms. Among people who become ill, initial symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Some of those who become ill develop severe symptoms that may affect the nervous system. Severe disease occurs most often in children under the age of 16.
In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result from La Crosse encephalitis. If you or a family member has symptoms of LACV disease or any symptoms causing you concern, consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.
The best way to reduce your risk of infection of any mosquito-born viruses is to prevent mosquito bites. Follow the following prevention tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
* Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing.
* Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks when weather permits.
* Have secure intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
* Stay indoors while mosquitoes are most active.
* Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, tires and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and stored in their side when not in use. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Communicable Disease Division at the Summit County Health District, 330-926-5787.