The Ohio Department of Health reported the state’s first death from the West Nile Virus on Wednesday.
A 91-year-old man from Williams County in the northwest corner of the state was reportedly hospitalized with encephalitis.
Eight human cases have been reported in Ohio this year from six counties Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Lorain and Williams.
According to Richland County Health Educator Reed Richmond, There have been no human cases of West Nile virus in the north-central Ohio area, although the presence of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus has been reported by Richland Public Health.
The primary way people get WNV is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with WNV 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).
“This time of the year, the risk of West Nile virus infection increases, and individuals should take reasonable precautions to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites,” said Richland Public Health Environmental Health Director Matt Work.