West Nile virus found in Cuyahoga Co.

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health Zoonotic Disease Program confirmed the first evidence of West Nile virus in Ohio in 2008.

The West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes from Cuyahoga County were submitted by the Cleveland Department of Public Health.

Take precautions

To date, there have been no West Nile virus-positive bird, horse or human cases, but this testing affirms the need for Ohioans to take steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites and eliminate standing water to reduce their chances of infection.

Ohio has recorded human cases of West Nile virus each year since 2002 when there were 441 cases. There were 108 in 2003, 12 in 2004, 61 in 2005, 48 in 2006 and 23 in 2007.

West Nile virus is an unpredictable virus and it is not possible to predict how the 2008 season will unfold.

For more information, contact the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Public Affairs, at 614-644-8562.

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