State health officials today reported this year's first death in Ohio from the West Nile virus. The 80-year-old man from Butler County died this month.
The Ohio Health Department won't release any more details about his identity. Department spokesman Kristopher Weiss says the federal Centers for Disease Control confirmed the test results today. The virus spreads to humans from infected mosquitoes. It can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord. But health officials say less than one percent of those bitten by an infected mosquito will become severely ill.
The Health Department last year reported 108 human cases of the virus in the state. Eight of those people died.