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Published: Thursday, 6/23/2011

State confirms 1st evidence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes in Ohio this year, no human cases


COLUMBUS — Health officials have confirmed the first evidence of West Nile virus in Ohio this year, in mosquitoes collected in Columbus.

The Ohio Department of Health said Thursday no human cases of the disease have been confirmed in 2011.

Mosquitoes spread the virus, often picked up from birds they bite. Symptoms include neck stiffness and disorientation. West Nile can lead to coma, paralysis and death.

Health officials urge Ohioans to use mosquito repellent and remove any standing water on property.

Ohio has recorded human cases of the virus each year since 2002. There were 441 cases that year and five last year.

Health officials say mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. Ohioans out at those times are urged to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.

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