Ohio sees first 2015 West Nile death

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Health reported its first death in a 2015 human West Nile virus case Wednesday, according to a press release.

The disease killed a 91-year-old Williams County man who had been hospitalized with encephalitis.

There have been eight reported human cases of WNV in Ohio in 2015 in six counties – Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Lorain and Williams. In recent years, Ohio reported 11 human WNV cases in 2014, 24 in 2013 and 122 in 2012.

People usually get WNV through the bite of an infected mosquito. Less than one percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

“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,” said ODH Medical Director Dr. Mary DiOrio.

Here are some tips to avoid mosquito bites, according to the ODH:
” 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.
” Wear light-colored clothing, which is less attractive to mosquitoes.
” Use EPA-registered mosquito repellent and follow the label directions.
” Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
Here are some tips to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home:
” Eliminate standing water.
” Empty or remove water-holding containers, such as buckets, unused flower pots and bird baths.
” Make sure all roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
” Keep child wading pools empty and on their sides when not being used.

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