Lakewood resident is Ohio’s first case of West Nile virus

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio- A resident of Lakewood is the state’s first probable case of West Nile virus this year, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health said on Wednesday.

The patient received treatment and has resumed normal activities, according to the board of health.

West Nile, which is commonly spread by mosquito bites, causes fever, headache, joint pain, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no vaccine or special treatment for the virus, and in severe cases patients require hospitalization.

Also on Wednesday, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health said a mosquito trap in Maple Heights tested positive for West Nile. Mosquitoes in Richland and Lucas counties have also tested positive this year.

“We are coming up on the greatest risk period for exposure,” said Dr. Scott Frank, director of the Shaker Heights Health Department.  “From August into September, we historically see the number of West Nile virus human cases increase nationwide so the potential is definitely there for us to see more people become affected.”

According to the board of health, people who contract West Nile typically said they did not use mosquito repellent before getting sick.

“By taking the proper precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk for exposure,” CCBH Health Commissioner Terry Allan said in a news release on Wednesday. “This would include using mosquito repellent, remaining indoors at peak times, covering your arms and legs by wearing appropriate clothing, and eliminating standing water around your home.”

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