The first human case of West Nile Virus in Lake County this year has been confirmed, according to the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD).
This is the first human case of WNV in Ohio this year and Lake County's first case since 2017, according to LCGHD.
The virus is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. Last week, WNV was detected in mosquitoes caught in Lake County, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
According to LCGHD, most people who become infected do not have symptoms, but a small percentage of people will develop mild symptoms such as:
- Body aches
- Joint pain
More serious symptoms include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), LCGHD said.
WNV has been in Lake County and Ohio since 2001 and will continue to be a long-term, public health threat, according to LCGHD. There are no vaccines or medications available to treat WNV, but over-the-counter medications like Tylenol may be used to alleviate symptoms, such as fever.
The LCGHD released the following list of suggestions to reduce your chances of getting infected:
- Use insect repellent registered with the U.S. Environmental Protective Agency (EPA) on exposed skin and clothing.
- Wear long sleeves and pants after dark 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, bird baths, etc.