CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga County Board of Health has been made aware of one probable local case of West Nile Virus.
They said the probable victim is a 72-year-old resident of an eastern suburb.
The case has not yet been confirmed pending additional testing.
Adults 50 and older are at the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill when infected with the West Nile Virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Most people will experience no symptoms, the CCBH said. A small number of people, typically less than one out of 100, become infected and develop West Nile encephalitis or West Nile meningitis, an inflammation of the brain or the area around the brain which requires hospitalization. In some cases, especially among older persons, it can result in death.
Symptoms of severe illness include headache, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors (shaking), convulsions, coma, and paralysis.
There is no specific treatment for the West Nile Virus infection.
The CCBH provides guidelines for preventing mosquito activity and reducing human exposure:
- Dispose of containers that collect water such as buckets, scrap tires, cans, and flower pots.
- Eliminate areas of standing water.
- Repair leaky outdoor faucets that leave puddles.
- Empty and refill bird baths at least once a week.
- Clean, drain and cover pools or hot tubs if not in use.
- Unclog all gutters and drains.
- Fill tree holes with tar or cement.
- Tightly screen all openings of your home.
- Keep children indoors during times of peak mosquito activity - one hour before and one hour after sunset.
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs.
- Use insect repellent on both skin and clothing. Repellents should contain DEET, picardin or lemon eucalyptus oil for skin and permethrin for clothing. Follow label directions.