County residents should take precautions to prevent West Nile virus and other illnesses carried by mosquitoes, said Mike Oricko, Fulton County Health Commissioner.
The first signs of the virus have been detected in Cuyahoga County, said Ohio Department of Health officials.
Oricko said, “West Nile virus has not gone away.
“Even though there were no cases in Fulton County last year, we need to be careful,” he said.
The virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
To avoid infection:
•Avoid outdoor activities from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are active. If you are outdoors during those hours, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks. Light colors are less attractive.
•Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil; follow label directions.
Eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home:
•Remove all water-holding containers, such as tin cans, buckets, and unused flower pots; eliminate standing water.
•Keep roof gutters clean and draining properly.
•Clean and chlorinate pools, saunas and hot tubs; keep them empty when not in use; drain water from pool covers.
•Change water in bird baths weekly.
Even in areas where the virus has been reported, less than 1% of mosquitoes carry the virus.
Less than 1% of people bitten by an infected mosquito will become severely ill. Most will have mild symptoms, or none at all.
The virus can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.
People over 50, and those with other health problems, are most susceptible to serious complications from the virus.