Lima, OH – Allen County's first 2012 West Nile Virus (WNV)-associated death was reported today by the Allen County Health Department. Five previous WNV deaths have been reported in Ohio.
"Wewould like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of this individual," says Kathy Luhn, Allen County Health Commissioner.
West Nile activity increased in Ohio and the United States this year. The mosquito that easily transmits the virus thrives in dry conditions like we experienced this spring and summer. As of October 11, Ohio has recorded 110 human cases. In 2011, only 21 cases were reported in the state.
Mosquito activity in our area has decreased now that the weather has turned colder and cases of WNV are beginning to decline. Because the increase in WNV has been seen in other areas of the country, travelers who plan to visit warmer climates are encouraged to use mosquito repellent to decrease their risk of becoming infected with this and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Four out of five people infected with West Nile Virus will not develop any symptoms of the disease. Those who are affected can experience headache, fever, tiredness and body aches that can last from a few days to several weeks. CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 150 people will develop severe symptoms such as coma, high fever, convulsions and muscle weakness and paralysis.