Resident has La Crosse virus

Resident has La Crosse virus
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Many people infected with La Crosse virus have no apparent symptoms. For those who do, symptoms typically begin five to 15 days after a mosquito bite.

                        

The Tuscarawas County Health Department reported a resident of Tuscarawas County has been diagnosed with La Crosse virus, an illness transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Unfortunately, the health department has been unsuccessful in obtaining any additional information from the confirmed case, so it is not known if the individual acquired the virus in Tuscarawas County or elsewhere.

This is the first known case of La Crosse virus in Ohio in 2021. Most people infected in Ohio are bitten by the eastern treehole mosquito, Aedes triseriatus, an aggressive daytime-biting mosquito commonly found in wooded areas. La Crosse virus is native to Ohio, and Ohio has reported more human cases than any other state in the United States, averaging about 20 cases per year.

Many people infected with La Crosse virus have no apparent symptoms. For those who do, symptoms typically begin five to 15 days after a mosquito bite and include nonspecific symptoms such as the following: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and lethargy.

Severe disease most often occurs among children less than 16 years old and is characterized by the following: seizures, coma, paralysis and a variety of neurologic complications after recovery.

Death from infection with La Crosse virus is rare and occurs in less than 1% of cases.

Residents are encouraged to follow these recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health to avoid mosquito bites:

Use insect repellent when you go outdoors. When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent will give extra protection. Take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours at dusk and dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Ways to mosquito-proof your home include installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside, using air-conditioning if you have it, and helping to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths on a regular basis.

The health department continues its mosquito-control program through trapping and testing of mosquitoes for viruses, larviciding, and spraying when high trap counts or disease positive pools are identified.

Taking these steps will help protect against mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus, La Crosse encephalitis and Zika virus.

For information on mosquito-control activities or for up-to-date mosquito-borne disease information, visit www.tchdnow.org or call 330-343-5550.


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