There as been mounting interest with regard to West Nile Virus especially with increasing media attention to the West Nile’s morbidity and mortality rates in Texas.
So what’s happening here in Ohio?
Here is the information from ODH:
2012 Ohio WNV Numbers at a Glance (as of August 29, 2012):
49 human cases
1 human fatality
56 years – median age of human cases
4 years – youngest human case
87 years – oldest human case
31 counties have WNV positive humans, mosquitoes and/or horses
As of 3 p.m. on August 29, the Ohio Department of Health is reporting 49 human cases of WNV in Ohio in Allen (2), Butler (1), Clark (5), Clermont (1), Cuyahoga (15), Franklin (3), Hamilton (5), Lorain (1), Lucas (3), Mercer (1), Miami (1), Montgomery (3), Putnam (1) , Richland (1), Ross (1), Sandusky (1), Stark (1), Van Wert (1), Warren (1) and Wood (1) Counties.
Of these cases, 40 were hospitalized with symptom onset dates from July 10 thru August 20, 2012.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, according to the Lucas County Health Department, “…Michigan has reported 96 cases of WNV with 4 deaths including cases in Detroit and in the Ann Arbor area….”
What actions to take? I like the initiatives being promulgated in the Dallas area. They are reasonable and low-cost especially if you or someone you know is susceptible due to age or infirmity.
It’s the 4Ds:
Dusk/Dawn (stay indoors); This is the time period when WNV-laden mosquitoes are most active.
Dress (use long sleeves and pants); If you do go out, wearing long pants and long sleeves will minimize “skeeter-skin” contact.
DEET (use mosquito repellent); Enough said on that score.
Dump (any standing water). Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. So eliminating these wet zones from where you live and where your kids play will also decrease exposure.
The CDC WNV website is very informative for both professional and public: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
Finally, keep things in perspective: The vast majority of WNV cases are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic.