BOWLING GREEN - A 50-year-old woman has been diagnosed with Wood County's first case of West Nile virus this year.
That brings to 29 the number of people with the virus throughout the state. There have been two fatalities, one in Henry County and one in Cuyahoga County. Michigan has 36 cases so far this year, including three deaths.
Wood County health officials said they were notified of the West Nile case late last week, but declined to release the woman's condition or say whether she is hospitalized.
Pat Snyder, spokesman for the health department, said the agency doesn't know what part of the county the woman is from.
Although the weather is cool now, the risk of new West Nile infections remains.
"People need to continue to take the precautions until the first hard frost, which will really knock down the mosquito population," said Kristopher Weiss, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health.
You'll know it's a hard frost, he said, "when you look out your window in the morning and your neighbor's roof is white."
In the meantime, be sure to eliminate standing water, where mosquitoes like to breed, cover up when outside with long sleeves, long pants, and socks, and use insect repellents containing DEET, health experts advise.
West Nile virus is carried by the mosquito species Culex pipiens, which usually prefers to feed on birds. While the virus can be fatal, most people have mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all.
West Nile virus has been endemic in Ohio since 2002, when 414 cases were diagnosed.
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