The Ohio Department of Heath reported the first human death in a 2012 West Nile Virus case in Ohio on Wednesday. The victim is a 76-year-old Hamilton County man who was hospitalized with encephalitis.
"We continue to see growing numbers of human cases of West Nile Virus infection and positive mosquito samples throughout the state," said ODH Director Ted Wymyslo, M.D. "Ohioans should remain vigilant and take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites."
This year in Ohio, 49 human cases of WNV have been reported along with 960 positive mosquito samples. It is the highest percentage of mosquitoes testing positive since 2002.
Wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes while outdoors can help prevent possible infection from mosquito bites. Also wearing light colors and using insect repellent can help prevent possible infection. It is suggested to remove all water-holding containers from your property to eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home.
ODH says most people who are infected with WNV will not develop any type of illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about 20 percent of people who become infected with WNV will develop West Nile Fever. Symptoms include fever, body aches and headache. A skin rash and swollen lymph glands may also occur with West Nile Fever.