First human cases of WNV reported in Hamilton Co.

HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Public Health is reporting the county's  first two human cases of West Nile Virus.

Both cases are identified as coming from the Western side of Hamilton County.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. It is important to note that most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will never become sick. Everyone, however, should be aware of the symptoms of WNV.  Symptoms may develop two to 15 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.

Approximately 80 percent of people (about four out of five) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have been sick for several weeks.

It is estimated that approximately one in 150 (fewer than one percent) of persons infected with West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of disease. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.

While all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk, people over age 50 have the highest risk of developing severe WNV infections. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation.

"West Nile Virus is here to stay and we already knew mosquitoes in Hamilton County were carrying the virus," according to Hamilton County Health Commissioner, Tim Ingram. "Because humans only become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito, it is important that we all take action to protect ourselves and our property from mosquitoes."

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