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First case of La Crosse encephalitis since 2014 confirmed in Lake County

Posted at 12:43 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 12:43:57-05

LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — A case of La Crosse encephalitis has been confirmed in Lake County, according to the Lake County General Health District.

La Crosse encephalitis is a viral disease that is spread by the bite from an infected mosquito.

Many people who are infected with the disease have no visible symptoms. Those who do become ill can develop neuroinvasive disease. Severe manifestation of the disease, which is most typically seen in children under the age of 16, can cause inflammation of the brain, seizures, coma and paralysis, the Lake County General Health District said.

The confirmed case of La Crosse encephalitis in Lake County is just the third in the county over the last 10 years and the first since 2014, according to the Lake County General Health District.

The breeding season for mosquitoes is over in Northeast Ohio, but the county shared steps residents can take to reduce potential breeding sites in the future:

  • Dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, plastic covers, or other containers that collect and hold water.
  • Keep roof gutters unclogged. Clean gutters in the spring and fall.
  • Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas, and either remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
  • Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
  • Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs.