OTTAWA — A 74-year-old Putnam County man is recovering from this year’s first confirmed case of West Nile virus in Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Health confirmed the case Monday. The number of mosquito pools detected in the state with West Nile virus has increased from four to 98 in the past month, the department also reported.
Putnam County Health Department Director of Nursing Sherri Recker said the county does not test mosquitoes but is aware of the increase. She said the risk of catching the disease is increased across the state.
The last confirmed case in Putnam County was a couple of years ago, she said. But there could be more cases that are not confirmed.
“Everyone who has West Nile Virus may not be tested,” she said. “In persons over the age of 50, the disease can be more severe. The older and the very young can have more serious disease.”
There were two confirmed human cases in Ohio in 2009. There were 15 in 2008, including two fatalities, according to the state health department.
The virus causes an influenza-like illness that may lead to inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and death, especially in persons older than 50 years. It can only spread to humans through mosquito bites.
The state department of health recommends using insect repellant and keeping water from pooling around your home.