(This is the first reported case since 2015)
The Ohio Department of Health has recorded Montgomery County’s first case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2018. A 68-year-old female resident has been diagnosed with the disease. WNV is a potentially serious illness that is most commonly spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. As of August 27, there have been 8 human cases of WNV in Ohio and one death. Last year there were 34 cases and 5 deaths in Ohio and none in Montgomery County.
“We have seen a rise in the number of mosquitos that are testing positive for West Nile Virus, said Public Health’s Medical Director, Michael Dohn, MD. “And as those numbers rise, it greatly increases the chances of people becoming infected.”
Approximately 80% of people infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20% of those infected have mild symptoms such as fever, body aches, and swollen glands. Symptoms can last a few days, though in some cases, they may last for several weeks.
About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. Severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. If you are experiencing any of these severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent WNV but there are steps the public can take to help protect themselves.
Protect Yourself from West Nile
- Use EPA-approved mosquito repellent such as DEET, and follow the label directions.
- 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.
- Wear light-colored clothing, which is less attractive to mosquitoes.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
- Make sure all roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
- Eliminate standing water in your yard as well as from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
Public Health’s Mosquito and Vector Disease Control program protects our community from mosquito-borne diseases. The local mosquito population is monitored, tested, and controlled through regular trapping, species identification and spraying in contracted areas. For more information call 225-4362 or visit www.phdmc.org.
Public Health’s Medical Director will be available for on-camera questions at 11:30 am today in Public Health’s Public Information Conference Room, located on the 3rd Floor of the Reibold building, 117 S. Main St., Dayton.