Northeast Ohio reports 1st human West Nile virus case for 2018

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West Nile Virus is native to Lake County and OH since 2001, and will continue to be a long-term, public health threat.

Maryland health officials announced Monday the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in the state this year. The KDHE said one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms.

Blood from an OH blood donor also tested positive for West Nile, but they didn't have symptoms.

The CDC recommends using mosquito repellents, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, and limiting outdoor exposure from dusk to dawn to decrease chances of contacting the virus.

This year's first case of the season was reported in Hinds County in late June. It can cause high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

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The virus is transmitted through bites from mosquitoes that picked up the virus from an infected bird.

Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

Symptoms of the West Nile illness are usually mild. People older than 60 and people with compromised immune systems have the greatest risk of developing severe complications. Routine spray operations will continue in all other participating communities throughout the state.

Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Many people may not realize they have been infected. However, if you have to spend some time outside between dusk and dawn, you should wear long sleeves and long trousers to minimize exposure as much as possible.

Keeping window and door screens in good fix. Consult a physician before using repellents on young children. The peak came in 2003 when there were 73, the health department said. If it rains, the spraying will be done during the same hours Friday.

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