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State health agency reports diagnosis of 2 Ohioans with West Nile virus, first cases of season

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health says two people recently diagnosed with West Nile virus are the first reported cases in the state this year.

The agency issued a statement Wednesday that says a 34-year-old man in Cuyahoga County was diagnosed with the virus after contracting a fever, and a 77-year-old Hamilton County man was diagnosed after it was discovered he had encephalitis, a swelling of the brain. The virus is primarily transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

The health department advises people to use mosquito repellant and to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks and shoes while outdoors from dusk to dawn. People should also eliminate standing water and empty bird baths and containers where mosquitoes might breed.

Ohio had 11 reported cases of West Nile virus last year.

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Online: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/wnv

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