An 85-year-old man is hospitalized with the first reported human case of West Nile virus.
The man was hospitalized in Clermont County, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
ODH Director Ted Wymyslo said that the first human case is about a month earlier than what has been seen in the past several years.
So far this year, 274 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus. At the same time last year, the ODH lab had only recorded 59 positive mosquito pools.
ODH officials said that the increase was similar to one in 2002, during which there were 299 positive pools by the end of July.
By the end of the 2002 season, there were 441 human West Nile virus cases and 31 fatalities.
To avoid possible infection, the ODH suggests wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks, light colors and insect repellent.
Residents also should dispose of all standing water, clean gutters and change water in bird baths weekly.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 150 people infected with West Nile will develop a more severe form of the disease, such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis.
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