(Cincinnati, Oh.) - Hamilton County is reporting Ohio's first death from the West Nile Virus this year.
A 76-year-old man died this week of encephalitis caused by a West Nile-infected mosquito, the Hamilton County Health Department reported Wednesday.
The number of West Nile cases is at a ten-year high in Ohio as hot and dry weather has increased the number of mosquitoes across the state. Ohio has recorded 49 human cases of West Nile Virus this year, including two in Hamilton County.
“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.”
West Nile does not become serious in most cases. Only about one in 150 persons with the illness develop a more severe form of disease.
Indiana has had dozens of human cases, with two deaths in the past month.