First death due to West Nile Virus in Ohio this year reported

The first West Nile Virus death in 2019 for Ohio has been reported in Lucas County, according to the Ohio Department in Health.

The 68-year-old man’s death was also the first human case of the virus in the state this year.

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He was reportedly hospitalized with encephalitis — brain swelling — which is a symptom of West Nile Virus.

The ODH reported six West Nile Virus deaths in 2018, five in 2017 and four in 2016. There were 65 human cases in 2018, with 34 in 2017 and 17 in 2016.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has 468 reports of human West Nile Virus cases across the country this year.

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Most cases in Ohio occur from May through October, when mosquitoes are most active, according to ODH.

While most people with West Nile Virus don’t show any symptoms, common signs of the virus are fever, headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea and rash.

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More severe symptoms are meningitis and the inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissues.

Anyone who thinks they have symptoms of West Nile Virus should contact their doctor.

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