West Nile Virus Hot Topic

News Director Leah Haslage recently sat down with the Director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health, Toinette  Parrilla to discuss the first case of West Nile Virus to be reported in Cleveland.

The Ohio Department of Health confirmed Cleveland’s first human case of West Nile Virus. The case was confirmed in a 38 year-old Eastside man who is currently hospitalized in Cleveland. This case now brings Ohio’s WNV infection report up to 16 cases. In recent years, Ohio reported 11 human West Nile Virus cases in 2014, 24 in 2013, and 122 in 2012.

The most common and primary way people get WNV is through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is common for most people who become infected to not exhibit any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, rash and body aches.  Less than 1 percent of individuals infected develop a serious neurological illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Director Parrilla stated that: “During this time of year West Nile Virus infections tend to increase and that makes it critical for individuals to take needed precautions to avoid mosquito bites and to eliminate potential breeding places.”

Some tips to avoid mosquito bites:

– If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are  the most active, make sure to wear long pants, shoes, socks and a long-sleeved shirt.

– Wear light-colored clothing, which is less attractive to the mosquitoes.

– Install or repair screens on doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

– Use EPA-registered mosquito repellent and make sure to follow the labeled directions.

Some tips to eliminate mosquito breeding in your home:

– Eliminate standing water

– Make sure all roof gutters are draining properly and are clean.

– Keep child wading pools empty and on their side when not in use.

– Empty or remove water-holding containers, such as buckets, unused flower pots and bird baths.

*Stay tuned to TV20 for the latest episode of Hot Topics with Director Parrilla*

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