Ohio records first human case of West Nile Virus is a local woma - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Ohio records first human case of West Nile Virus is a local woman


A 72-year-old female in Cuyahoga County is currently hospitalized with WNV meningitis.

"We've seen human cases of West Nile virus each year in Ohio since 2002 but it is encouraging that our counts are down compared to where we were a year ago," said ODH Director Ted Wymyslo, M.D. "Ohioans are doing their part to avoid mosquito bites and we continue to work with local health departments around the state to monitor West Nile Virus activity."

Prior to 2013, the ODH public health laboratory received federal funding to test mosquitoes for WNV.

Federal funding cuts forced a change in program and ODH is now working with several local health departments in different regions of the state to conduct mosquito surveillance and testing. These surveillance and test results are shared with ODH and are available online.

According to the data, acquired through the mosquito surveillance partnerships, the percent of mosquitoes that tested positive is ten times less this year than it was during the same time in 2012.

Also, in 2012 the first human case was confirmed on July 27, nearly a month earlier than normal for Ohio (see past WNV case releases).

ODH has also created resources to make it easier to spread the word about preventing mosquito bites including public service announcements and brochures that can be distributed throughout communities in Ohio.

"You can protect yourself and your loved ones from West Nile Virus by taking simple preventive steps such as using insect repellent and eliminating containers that can collect water from your property," said Dr. Wymyslo.

To avoid possible infection from mosquito bites:

• If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear

long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks. Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.

• Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.

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