MONTPELIER, OHIO – The Williams County Health Department received confirmation today of the second case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the county this year – following a fatal case of a 91-year-old man. Throughout the state, there are 9 confirmed cases of WNV so far in 2015.
While the statewide WNV infection rate in mosquitoes remains low relative to previous years, there has been a steady increase in WNV infections in mosquitoes in Ohio.
With the rapidly increasing infection rates in mosquitoes and the new human cases, it is very important to avoid mosquito bites and reduce mosquito breeding.
The primary way people get West Nile virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms.
About one in five people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).
Health department officials urge people to minimize the risk of mosquito bites by:
•Wearing long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
•Wear light-colored clothing, which is less attractive to mosquitoes.
•Use EPA-registered mosquito repellent and follow the label directions.
•Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
Here are some tips to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home:
•Eliminate standing water.
•Empty or remove water-holding containers, such as buckets, unused flower pots and bird baths.
•Make sure all roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
•Keep child wading pools empty and on their sides when not being used.
Learn more about mosquitoes and West Nile virus at www.williamscountyhealth.org or call 419-485-3141.