Nichole Hannahs

Muskingum Woman Infected with West Nile

by Nichole Hannahs on August 20, 2014 at 6:14 am

Muskingum County reported its first case of West Nile virus in a human this year.

The Ohio Department of Health said that a 24-year-old female has been hospitalized with Encephalitis. A 78-year-old Cuyahoga County female also is suffering from the virus.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that’s caused when someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.

The Ohio Department of Health’s Epidemiologist said that we could possibly see a growing number of human cases of West Nile infection and more positive mosquito samples throughout the state. She urges Ohioans to be vigilant and take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Some tips to avoid infection include:

  • Wearing long pant and long sleeved shirts, shoes and socks at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear light colored clothing, which are least attractive to mosquitoes
  • Use insect repellent and follow the label directions

Experts also said that residents should remove water holding containers from around their homes, eliminate standing water, make sure roof gutters are drained and empty any wading pools that aren’t in use.

Approximately 80 percent of people infected with West Nile don’t show any symptoms. Those who do develop them within 3-14 days after they’re bitten by an infected mosquito.

The Ohio Department of Health began testing mosquitoes from agencies in July. So far up to 120 positive West Nile mosquito samples have tested positive, along with another 10 from local health departments.