48-year-old Cleveland man hospitalized with confirmed case of West Nile virus

CLEVELAND - A Cleveland man is hospitalized and being treated for a confirmed case of West Nile virus, the health department said Wednesday.

The Cleveland Department of Public Health said this is the first case in the area in 2012 – and happened about a month earlier than in previous years.

The man is 48 years old and has WNV encephalitis, but no details about his condition have been released.

The CDPH said this is the second case in Ohio – the first being in Clermont County.

The Ohio Department of Ohio said that so far in 2012, 374 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus. At the same time last year, only 59 WNV-positive mosquito pools were recorded.

According to the CDPH, the recent heat across the region has "contributed to an increase in mosquitoes and virus acceleration."

The CDPH compared this year's larger number of cases to 2002, in which there were 299 positive pools at the end of July, 441 human cases reported throughout the year and 31 deaths – all in Ohio.

"We want the citizen's of Cleveland and all of Northeastern Ohio to be diligent in protecting themselves against mosquito bites," said CDPH Director Karen Butler. "According to the Ohio Department of Health the number of West-Nile positive mosquito pools are up significantly across the state and it's important that residents of Ohio take note."

Here are some tips from the CDPH to avoid possible infection from mosquito bites:

- If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.

-Light colors are least attractive to mosquitoes.

- Use mosquito repellant when outdoors – products with these ingredients should be used – DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD - the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus. Please follow the label directions.

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