Ohio confirms first West Nile virus fatality for 2015
The man who died was 91 years old and lived in Williams County. He had received hospitalization for encephalitis.
As of today, eight human West Nile virus cases have been confirmed in Ohio for 2015. They have been located within four counties, including Williams, Lucas, Lorain, Hamilton, Cuyahoga and Franklin.
In 2014, Ohio reported 11 West Nile virus cases. The state had 24 cases in 2013 and 122 in 2012.
People typically contract West Nile virus from the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. Many people who contract West Nile virus do not report having any symptoms. If they do have symptoms, these include body aches, headaches, vomiting, joint pains, rash or diarrhea. Very few people with the virus develop encephalitis or meningitis.
Health professionals recommend taking proactive measures to avoid contracting the illness. They recommend wearing a mosquito repellent that is registered with the EPA. They also recommend avoiding spending time outside during dawn and dusk, which is when there is the most mosquito activity.
“This time of the year, the risk of West Nile virus infection increases, and individuals should take reasonable precautions to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites,” ODH Medical Director Dr. Mary DiOrio said.