The Ohio Department of Health has reported that a 74 year old Defiance county man who had been hospitalized with encephalitis has died as a result of the West Nile virus. The case marks the first death from the virus in Ohio in 2017.
The primary method of people contracting the virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with the virus do not have symptoms, but about one out of five develop a fever with other systems such as joint pains, body aches, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash. Less than one percent of those whom become infected will develop a serious neurologic issue such as encephalitis or meningitis. Ohio reported 17 human West Nile Virus cases, which resulted in four deaths; 35 cases, resulting in two deaths, in 2015; and 11 cases, resulting in one death, in 2014.
The Ohio Department of Health is reporting a total of 10 human cases of West Nile virus throughout Ohio. Counties with at least one case include Clark, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Franklin, Green, Hamilton (2), Logan, and Summit.
The Ohio Department of Health urges individuals to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and to eliminate potential breeding sites