Alert: West Nile outbreak largest ever in U.S.

Alert: West Nile outbreak largest ever in U.S.

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - The West Nile virus is spreading at a record pace in 2012.  So far 47 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes.  A total of 1118 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 41 deaths, have been reported to CDC

Ohio meantime, now has it's 16th confirmed human case of the West Nile Virus.  A 25 year old Columbus woman was hospitalized, but she's now at home.

Also this month the Shaker Heights Health Department reported a confirmed case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in a 54 year-old resident.  The resident, who reported having been bitten by a mosquito, is recovering and has no neurological symptoms.  The patient's symptoms upon contracting the virus included fever, fatigue, nausea, a rash and muscle aches, all of which abated within a week.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reports 695 WNV positive mosquito pools (consisting of about 50 mosquitoes) as of August 13.  This is an increase over last year.  The summer's prolonged heat has contributed to an increase in mosquitoes and virus acceleration.  This year's early increase is similar to that experienced in 2002, when there were 299 WNV positive pools by the end of July.

SHHD Health Director Dr. Scott Frank says, "We want the residents of Shaker and all of Northeastern Ohio to be diligent in protecting themselves against mosquito bites."

So far, Texas has been hit hardest in the U.S.,  reporting 20 deaths and more than 400 illnesses.

Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.