West Nile virus and the H1N1 virus, both proven killers, are still active.
People still need to take precautions to avoid contracting them, said Mike Oricko, Fulton County Health commissioner.
“Last year, there were only two human cases (of West Nile Virus) confirmed in the State of Ohio. Despite that, it’s still out there,” he said.
Mosquitoes spread the virus to humans by biting people. The best precaution against the virus is to avoid mosquito bites.
•Avoid outdoor activities from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
•If outdoors during those hours, wear long pants, longsleeved shirts, socks, and shoes. Light colors are less attractive to mosquitoes.
•Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil; follow label directions.
Around the home, eliminate areas where mosquitoes breed.
•Remove containers that hold water; buckets, cans, unused flower pots, etc.
•Keep roof gutters clean and draining.
•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.
Less Than 1%
Less than 1% of those bitten by an infected mosquito will become severely ill. Most will have mild, or no, symptoms.
The virus can lead to encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Both are potentially fatal.
Precautions also need to be taken to avoid the H1N1 virus, which was once called swine flu.
Public health officials feared H1N1 because it was entirely new to humans. Public health specialists refer to such a virus as a “novel” virus.
Having not been exposed to H1N1 before, humans had no immunity to it.
There have been confirmed H1N1 cases in Fulton County, but all of the patients have recovered.
Oricko said to stave off the flu, including H1N1:
•The number one preventative measure: wash hands frequently.
•Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze.
•If you are ill, and it may be the flu, stay home; if it becomes severe, see a physician.
One thing to keep in mind: H1N1 has no connection to eating pork.