Saturday, Nov 18, 2017
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Hospitalized 41-year-old woman is Lucas County's first human West Nile virus case this year

A 41-year-old woman is currently hospitalized and being treated for West Nile virus, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said Monday.

For Lucas County, it is this year’s first human case of the virus, which is primarily transmitted through a bite from an infected mosquito.

“Although we're getting closer to the end of summer, you still can be at risk of getting West Nile virus or other mosquito borne diseases,” Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said in a statement. “It's important for everyone to continue taking precautions such as wearing insect repellent.”

The woman, who was not identified, lives in central Toledo, health department spokesman Shannon Lands said. She did not identify the hospital where the woman is receiving treatment. The health department was notified of the case Monday.

About 80 percent of people who get West Nile show no symptoms, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and vomiting. More serious symptoms can include neck stiffness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis. 

Lucas County had no human cases in 2016 and five cases in 2015, according to the county health department.

To avoid mosquito bites, health officials suggest wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants, checking window and door screens for tears or gaps that allow mosquitoes to get inside, and wearing mosquito repellent when outside.

To reduce mosquito breeding sites, get rid of standing water in buckets, flower pots, children’s pools, and bird baths, and check that gutters are clean and draining properly.

The state health department last week confirmed that a 74-year-old Defiance County man who died Aug. 11 was the first recorded West Nile fatality in Ohio this year.  

More information about West Nile and mosquitoes can be found at odh.ohio.gov/wnv.

Contact Lauren Lindstrom at llindstrom@theblade.com, 419-724-6154, or on Twitter @lelindstrom.

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