COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has reported the state’s first human death from West Nile Virus in 2019.
According to the ODH, a 68-year-old Lucas County man died after he was hospitalized with encephalitis.
ODH reported 65 human West Nile virus cases including six deaths in 2018; 34 human cases including five deaths in 2017; and 17 human cases including four deaths in 2016. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has received reports of 468 human West Nile virus cases from across the country so far this year.
In Ohio, most West Nile virus cases and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes usually occur from May through October when mosquitoes are most active. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms. About one in five people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection.
To learn more about mosquitoes and West Nile virus on the ODH website at odh.ohio.gov/wnv.