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Medical Edge: West Nile Virus

Updated: Monday, August 25 2014, 05:55 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A warning from Hamilton County Public Health experts: a 24-year-old woman and a 78-year-old woman were admitted to Ohio hospitals after being diagnosed with the West Nile Virus.
   
They were the first two human cases reported in Ohio this year.  People must protect against mosquito bites to protect against West Nile Virus.

Jeremy Hessel, and environmental health expert, said, "It's transmitted by the mosquitoes, it's not transmitted by any other bird or insect out there.  It's mosquitoes so what we need to do is protect ourselves from the bite."

Hessel is an environmental health expert who helped put together a YouTube video on the subject.  He said the biggest danger was that the virus can attack the brain.  Which was why if a person suffered from headaches, nausea, maybe some paralysis in your muscles they should see a doctor right away.

Hessel showed Local 12 how he used traps to catch a lot of mosquitoes which were then sent for testing.  As more of the tests come back positive for West Nile in the mosquitoes, Hessel said people need to get rid of the places where they live where mosquitoes breed.

"People need to remember to look around their house, their neighborhood, for standing water.  Drain 'em, dunk them, cover them, or even remove them completely if possible," advised Hessel.

He said it was too soon to tell whether or not this will be a bad year for mosquito borne illnesses including West Nile.  But Hessel said it was also one of the most important times to protect against the virus.

"Especially when it's peak biting time for mosquitoes, protect yourself with insect repellant, light colored clothing, long sleeves if possible, or just stay inside at those peak biting times," said Hessel.

Those peaks are dusk and dawn.  And you need repellent with Deet for best protection.  If a person were infected from a mosquito bite West Nile symptoms generally start with a fever and show up within three to 14 days.

CLICK HERE for a link with details on protecting against West Nile.





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