Ohio Department of Health Announces First West Nile Virus-Related Death

COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) this week announced the first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2004. The patient was an 80-year-old male from Butler County.


We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends, said ODH Director J. Nick Baird, MD. I want to personally urge all Ohioans to take steps to reduce their chances of becoming infected and eliminate mosquito breeding sites on and around our properties.


To avoid possible infection from mosquito bites:


-- Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when

mosquitoes are most active; if you must be outdoors, be sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks. Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.


-- Use insect repellent containing DEET and follow the label directions, generally a concentration of 30 percent DEET for adults and 10 percent or less for children.


To eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:


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

-- Eliminate standing water 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



By taking these simple steps, you can help Ohio fight the bite, Baird said.


In 2003, Ohio reported 108 probable and confirmed human case of WNV and eight WNV -related deaths; the first human case was reported July 18. In 2002, Ohio reported 441 human cases and 31 deaths. Earlier this year, ODH reported a probable case of WNV which was later reclassified as not a case.


Source: Ohio Department of Health