GCPH confirms human case of West Nile Virus

XENIA — Greene County Public Health has confirmed that there is one human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Greene County. A laboratory blood test confirmed the presence of the virus in a Xenia resident.

This year, 29 Ohio counties have reported West Nile virus activity reported in mosquitoes collected as part of statewide surveillance. Last year, the Ohio Department of Health reported 17 human West Nile virus cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 states have reported more than 200 combined human West Nile virus cases so far in 2017, as well as West Nile virus infections in mosquitoes and the birds who infect them.

WNV is a potentially serious illness. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.

Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will show no symptoms at all.

Health Commissioner Melissa Howell reminds Greene County residents of the following:

To avoid mosquito bites:

• If outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.

• 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 homes.

To eliminate mosquito breeding sites around the 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.

Greene County Public Health officials will continue to monitor the situation by checking for standing water, trapping and testing mosquitoes, and spraying adulticide if indicated.

For more information, call the Greene County Public Health Disease Investigator, Amy Schmitt, BSN, RN at 937- 374-5638.

Greene County News

Story courtesy of Greene County Public Health.