(Hamilton County, Oh.) - Two human cases of West Nile virus have been found in Hamilton County.
The first cases this year were reported in the western part of the county, the Hamilton County Health Department advised Wednesday.
Until now in the tri-state, West Nile had only been found in mosquitoes in Hamilton, Ohio, and Ripley counties.
“West Nile Virus is here to stay and we already knew mosquitoes in Hamilton County were carrying the virus,” according to Hamilton County Health Commissioner, Tim Ingram. “Because humans only become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito, it is important that we all take action to protect ourselves and our property from mosquitoes.”
About 80 percent of people who contract the disease never become sick. The other 20 percent will develop symptoms within two to 15 days such as e fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash.
In rare cases – one in 150 – a person will become gravely ill and become paralyzed or die.
When West Nile-positive mosquitoes or human cases are identified, Hamilton County Public Health staff canvas a half-mile radius in the area to advise residents about steps they can take to reduce the mosquito population and prevent mosquito bites, including the DRAIN, DUNK and PROTECT method:
• Look for and drain sources of standing water on your property – litter, tires, buckets, flower pots, wading pools and similar items that could create standing water and become mosquito breeding sites.
• Frequently change water in bird baths and pet bowls.
• Drain small puddles after heavy rainstorms.
• Apply mosquito larvicide, sometimes called mosquito “dunks,” to areas of standing water that cannot be drained. The “dunks” are environmentally safe and won’t harm pets. You can purchase them at your local hardware store.
• Cut your grass and trim shrubbery.
• Make sure screens in windows and doors are tight-fitting and free from defects.
• Wear long sleeves and pants during peak mosquito hours – dawn and dusk.
• Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always follow the directions on the package.
For more information on West Nile Virus, please contact Hamilton County Public Health at (513) 946-7800 or visit us online at www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org.