July 27, 2012
Batavia, Ohio. The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Ohio for 2012 has occurred in Clermont County. An 85 year-old male was determined to have the virus on July 27, 2012. WNV is spread through mosquito bites and is endemic throughout the United States, meaning it is found everywhere. According to the Ohio Department of Health, this case is about a month earlier than last year and is attributed to the warmer dryer weather.
“This is not surprising, since there are cases of West Nile virus every year throughout the country,” said Assistant Health Commissioner, Julianne Nesbit. “The key is for residents to protect themselves and their families from all mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent and eliminating areas of standing water.”
The Clermont County Health District recommends you take the following steps to reduce mosquito exposure:
· Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, and socks if you are outdoors when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.
· Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.
· Eliminate containers that hold water such as tires, cans, and unused flower pots.
· Make sure all roof gutters are properly draining. Clean and chlorinate outdoor pools, saunas, and hot tubs and when not in use, drain water from pool covers.
· Change water in bird baths weekly.
In humans, WNV may produce no symptoms, or can lead to West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease. Most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not develop any type of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 20 percent of people who become infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks. Less than 1 percent of those with WNV will develop a more severe form of disease such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis. For more information on WNV visit www.clermonthealthdistrict.org.
For additional information about this or other county news, contact Clermont County Communications Assistant Rebecca Kimble at (513) 732-7597 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.