Confirmed Case of LaCrosse Encephalitis

Confirmed Case of LaCrosse Encephalitis

by Kelly Choate on August 3, 2011

There’s a confirmed case of LaCrosse Encephalitis in Muskingum County.

This disease is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes.  Muskingum County Health Department Sanitarian Matt Hemmer said symptoms of Lacrosse Encephalitis are fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness.  He said the health department is trying to stop the spread of the disease.

"The action we’re taking is to actually go out to the areas where exposure was possible to occur and inform the people of those neighborhoods how to protect themselves and their families from future spread of the virus," said Hemmer.

Hemmer said LaCrosse Encephalitis can cause inflammation of the brain if left untreated, but the mortality rate is less than 1%.

"The state of Ohio averages about 10 to 15 cases of this virus per year," said Hemmer.  "This is, by no means, anything out of the ordinary, but we do take precaution when this virus does surface."

The health department is advising people to use repellents that contain DEET, and if you develop symptoms, ask your doctor to take a blood test.