Ohio confirms first two human West Nile virus cases of 2015
These two cases were found in Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties. The patients include a 77-year-old man who had encephalitis and a 34-year-old man who had a febrile illness, or fever.
In 2014, the state confirmed 11 human cases of the virus.
People contract West Nile virus through bites from mosquitoes that are infected with the virus. Many people with the virus do not show any symptoms. Approximately one out of every five people who have West Nile virus infections develop full blown symptoms, including body aches, headache, fever, vomiting, joint pains, rash and diarrhea. Less than one percent of the people who have the virus develop a dangerous neurologic illness called meningitis or encephalitis.
Health professionals recommend a variety of proactive measures to prevent contracting the illness, including wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors, avoiding outdoor activities at dawn and at dusk, using mosquito repellents and more.
“Ohio’s wet summer has caused standing water in many areas of Ohio, and mosquitoes breed and multiply in such water,” Dr. Mary DiOrio, ODH medical director, said. “Ohioans should take reasonable precautions to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites.”