Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
5966 Heisley Rd
Mentor, Ohio 44060
July 23, 2018
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July 23, 2018

NEWS RELEASE                                                          CONTACT: Tara Perkins MSN, RN (440) 350-2453
July 23, 2018                                                               LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT

LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT CONFIRMS FIRST HUMAN CASE OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN 2018

The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) announces that Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has confirmed 2018’s first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Lake County, Ohio. This is the first human case of WNV in Ohio in 2018, and Lake County’s first case since 2017. This new case involves a Willoughby resident who is currently under the care of a physician.

WNV is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. While most people who become infected do not have symptoms, a small percentage of people will develop mild symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

More severe symptoms include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Serious illness can occur in people of any age; however, people over 60 years of age and those with preexisting medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and transplant recipients are at the highest risk for serious illness.

WNV is native to Lake County and Ohio since 2001, and will continue to be a long term, public health threat.  While there are no vaccines or medications available to treat WNV, over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, may be used to alleviate symptoms such as fever. To reduce your chances of getting infected:

  • Use insect repellent registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on exposed skin and clothing. Always follow the package directions when using repellents.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants after dusk through dawn when mosquitoes are the most active.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing to repel and kill mosquitoes.
  • Install or repair screen doors or windows or use air-conditioning when available.
  • Empty standing water from containers such as flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, old tires and bird baths.

 

For more information on WNV, please call LCGHD at (440) 350-2543, or visit LCGHD’s website at www.lcghd.org .

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Marianne Rusnak
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