First West Nile Death In Lucas County Confirmed

TOLEDO, Ohio - The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed that the state's first West Nile virus death of 2019 has occurred in Lucas County.

The ODH says a 68-year-old Lucas County man who was hospitalized with encephalitis dies earlier this month of the infection.

ODH reports there were 65 human West Nile virus cases in 2018, including six deaths. There have been more than 400 cases this year nationwide, according to the CDC.

The Ohio Department of Health warns that West Nile virus and other infections can be contracted from mosquitoes at their most active period, which is May through October.

“The primary way people get West Nile virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito,” said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “I encourage all Ohioans and communities to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites in order to prevent mosquito‐borne diseases.”

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