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West Nile virus cited in Ohio death

Mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile in Pueblo in late July 2019. Photo courtesy: Franco Patrizia/MGN
Mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile in Pueblo in late July 2019. Photo courtesy: Franco Patrizia/MGN(KKTV)
Published: Sep. 25, 2019 at 6:35 PM EDT
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The Ohio Department of Health has confirmed the first human death in the state this year from the West Nile virus.

Authorities said Wednesday that a 68-year-old Lucas County man hospitalized with encephalitis was also the first human case in the state this year.

Ohio had six deaths among 65 human West Nile cases in 2017 and five deaths among 34 human cases in 2016, health officials said.

On Tuesday, state Agriculture Department officials also reported two confirmed West Nile cases among horses in the state.

Most West Nile cases are transmitted by mosquitoes. Authorities urge using repellent and protective clothing, and eliminating standing water and other potential mosquito breeding areas.

Most infected people don't have symptoms, but some get flu-like symptoms. A few will develop serious neurological illnesses.