The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reported Wednesday on the first human West Nile virus (WNV) case of 2017.


The case is a 44-year-old man from Clermont County is recovering from the West Nile virus infection and did not require hospitalization.

In 2016, ODH reported 17 human West Nile virus cases.

“This time of year, we could possibly see a growing number of human cases of West Nile virus infection and positive mosquito samples throughout the state,” said ODH State Epidemiologist and Bureau Chief of Infectious Disease Sietske de Fijter. “This case serves to remind Ohioans that they should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites in order to prevent mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus.”

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The primary way people get West Nile virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms. About one in five people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 states have reported more than 200 combined human West Nile virus cases so far in 2017, as well as West Nile virus infections in mosquitoes and the birds who infect them.