CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga County Board of Health has been made aware of a probable local case of West Nile Virus involving an 84 year-old Parma resident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults 50 and older are at the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill when infected with the West Nile Virus, according toa CCBH news release.
The CCBH also noted that most people will experience no symptoms. A small number of people, typically less than one out of one hundred, may become infected and develop West Nile encephalitis or West Nile meningitis, an inflammation of the brain or the area around the brain which requires hospitalization. In some cases, especially among older persons, it can result in death.
People who experience symptoms commonly associated with West Nile Virus such as high fever, headaches, muscle aches, vomiting and loss of appetite within 2-15 days after a mosquito bite should contact a doctor, the CCBH advises in the release.
Area health officials warn that we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to the risk for exposure. CCBH Health Commissioner, Terry Allan, says being prepared is the best defense when it comes to preventing mosquito bites.
“By taking the proper precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk for exposure. 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,” Allan wrote in the release.
To help prevent mosquito activity and reduce human exposure, the CCBH advises:
• Clean, drain and cover pools or hot tubs if not in use.
• Dispose of containers that collect water - buckets, scrap tires, cans, and flower pots.
• Eliminate areas of standing water.
• Empty and refill bird baths at least once a week.
• Fill tree holes with tar or cement.
• Keep children indoors during times of peak mosquito activity - one hour before and one hour after sunset.
• Repair leaky outdoor faucets that leave puddles.
• Tightly screen all openings of your home.
• Unclog all gutters and drains.
• Use insect repellent on both skin and clothing. Repellents should contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil for skin, and permethrin for clothing. Follow label directions.
• Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs.