35-Year-Old Is Sixth Probable Local West Nile Case; New Positive Mosquito Pools Found

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Department of Health announced yet another probable human case of West Nile virus on Wednesday, Action News reported.

The latest individual is a 35-year-old man who lives on Cleveland's west side in the West Park neighborhood. The man, who is the youngest local person believed to have contracted the virus thus far, was treated and released from a local hospital.

The city of Cleveland now has six probable human cases of West Nile virus, including the 75-year-old man from Old Brooklyn whose death was reported on Monday. That man was believed to be the first northeast Ohioan to die from the virus.

All of the probable local cases are listed below:

  • A 35-year-old man from Cleveland's West Park neighborhood (announced Wednesday)
  • A 67-year-old man the West 130th Street and Bellaire Avenue area (announced Tuesday)
  • A 75-year-old man from Old Brooklyn whose death was announced on Monday
  • A 40-year-old man from Old Brooklyn who remains in serious condition
  • A 50-year-old man from the Union-Miles area who has been released from the hospital
  • A 56-year-old woman from the West 130th Street and Lorain Avenue area who has been released from the hospital

The CDPH said that it would be continuing its efforts to eliminate the adult mosquito population through targeted spraying.

For more specific information about spraying locations, consult the city of Cleveland Web site (link in the "On Action News Now" section of this page, right) or call the West Nile Hotline at (216) 443-5679.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in the process of confirming that West Nile virus is to blame for the one local death and the five other suspect cases, but it has not done so yet.

There have been 24 deaths nationwide attributed to the virus and 480 confirmed human cases -- mostly in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas -- according to the CDC's figures.

The West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and can infect people, horses, many types of birds and some other animals.

West Nile virus can result in a severe and sometimes fatal illness known as West Nile encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

Residents are reminded to take the following steps to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are likely to be biting.
  • If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, cover up by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeve shirts. Light colors are less attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, according to label directions. Adults should use repellent with no more than 30 percent DEET; for children, 10 percent or less.

Also, to eliminate mosquito breeding sites:

  • Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property.
  • Remove all discarded tires from your property or put them under cover so they don't collect water.
  • Dispose of empty tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly. You should clean clogged gutters in the spring and in the fall.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. If not in use, keep empty and covered.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, etc., when not in use.
  • Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
  • Keep windows and doors closed and make sure screens are in good repair.

The ODH said that the substance being sprayed is "most environmentally sensitive adulticide registered in the United States for mosquito control."

If you have additional questions or just want to report areas of standing water, you are encouraged to call the Health Department at (216) 664-2769.