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Doctors Confirm First Ohio West Nile Virus Case of 2013

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- Ohio Department of Health workers have identified the first human case of West Nile Virus confirmed in the state this year.

The patient, a 72-year-old woman from Cuyahoga County, is currently receiving treatment for West Nile Virus meningitis at an Ohio hospital.

The first human case of the virus in 2012 was confirmed on July 27 of that year. Health officials believe enhanced mosquito surveillance and testing has contributed to the illness's reduced impact on the state during 2013.

Weve seen human cases of West Nile Virus each year in Ohio since 2002 but it is encouraging that our counts are down compared to where we were a year ago, said ODH Director Ted Wymyslo, M.D. Ohioans are doing their part to avoid mosquito bites and we continue to work with local health departments around the state to monitor West Nile Virus activity.

The Ohio Dept. of Health recommends that people take the following precautions to limit potential exposure to West Nile Virus:

- If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.  Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.

- Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.
To eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:

- Eliminate standing water from your property.

- Remove all discarded tires and other water-holding containers, such as tin cans and unused flower pots, from your property.

- Make sure all roof gutters are clean and properly draining. Clean and chlorinate pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty when not in use and drain water from pool covers.

- Change water in bird baths weekly.
 
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