The Cuyahoga County Board of Health announced today that a resident of Shaker Heights has contracted West Nile virus. This case marks the second documented contraction in the county and the 17th case in Ohio this year.
Fortunately, roughly 80 percent of infected people won't exhibit any symptoms of the disease and only one in every 150 people will suffer from severe illness, according to the Ohio Department of Health. As many already know, the disease can be transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitos.
The Ohio Board of Health notified the county board earlier this summer
that mosquito traps set in Cuyahoga County had come back positive for infected mosquitos. A 71-year-old Willoughby man was hospitalized in late July, serving as the first documented human case of the virus in 2018, but mosquito season peaks in late August.
Symptoms of the West Nile virus tend to appear two weeks after infection, and include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Those suffering from a severe form have been reported to endure neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors and muscle weakness. In the most extreme cases, falling into a coma or facial paralysis is possible.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites by following the recommended steps from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health:
- Utilizing insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil and follow label instructions.
- Disposing of containers that collect water (buckets, tires, cans, flower pots, etc.) and eliminating areas of standing water
- Emptying and refilling bird baths at least once a week
- Cleaning, draining and covering pools or hot tubs if not in use
- Unclogging all gutters so they drain properly
- Filling tree holes with tar or cement
- Tightly screen all doors/windows of your home
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when possible
- Keeping children indoors during times of peak mosquito activity (1 hour before and after sunrise/sunset)