Health Officials: Virus Likely In All Ohio Counties

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio health officials said that the West Nile virus has likely infiltrated all of the state's 88 counties.

So far the virus has been confirmed in 25 counties. But Kristopher Weiss of the Ohio Health Department said that the virus is probably in all of the state's counties.

That doesn't mean folks should panic, however. Weiss said that there have been no cases of humans in Ohio being infected by the virus, which can cause inflammation of the brain and be fatal.

Crows, blue jays and other birds can carry the virus, though they can't give it to humans. Mosquitoes that bite birds can spread it to people.

State and local health officials in Ohio are trying to reduce the mosquito population to cut down the risk of transmission. In some urban areas, spraying is being done.

West Virginia officials have said that they suspect the virus is in the Mountain State, even though it has not yet been detected.

Symptoms include aches, nausea and fever.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)