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3 cases of West Nile virus in Southwest Ohio: What you need to know

There’s been three cases so far this year of people testing positive for West Nile virus in Ohio.

That’s on top of the 29 counties in the state that have had mosquitoes test positive for the virus this year as of Aug. 16, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Mosquito season, which starts about March, will go on until about mid-October or the first freeze, so as the season continues here’s what you need to know:

3 cases in Southwest Ohio

Out of the three counties where people have tested positive for the virus so far, two are in Southwest Ohio. The cases where positive tests for humans carrying the virus were reported in Clermont County, Hamilton County and Logan County. All three people were fine without hospitalization.

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Reduce the risk

Since the virus primarily spreads through a bite from an infected mosquito, there are ways to reduce your risk of getting infected. Some ways to avoid bites include wearing light color clothing, which is less attractive to mosquitoes, using EPA registered mosquito repellent, and installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

Eliminate standing water

You can also eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home by eliminating standing water, emptying or removing water-holding containers like buckets, unused flower pots and bird baths, and keeping child wading pools empty and on their sides when not being used.

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Symptoms of West Nile

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, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious neurological 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.

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