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2012 Is Country's Worst Year for West Nile Virus

Five cases reported in Cuyahoga County so far

More cases of the West Nile virus have popped up this summer than any before it, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency said it has received 1,118 West Nile virus cases so far — the most through the third week in August since the virus was first detected in the U.S. in 1999.

One of those cases . The city's health department has not released the identity of the 54-year-old resident, but said that the individual is recovering and has not suffered any any neurological effects following a mosquito bite.

Through Aug. 21, there have been 15 other cases reported in Ohio. Five cases have been reported in Cuyahoga County.

The human West Nile death count is up to 41, the CDC said. Three-quarters of cases originated in five states — Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. Half of them were reported in Texas.

The Health Department previously issued the following tips to reduce the chances of catching the virus:

  • Dispose of containers that collect water such as buckets, scrap tires, cans, and flower pots.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water. Also, repair leaky outdoor faucets that leave puddles and unclog all gutters and drains. During dry conditions, mosquitoes gather near available water sources. Mosquitoes have been known to lay eggs in standing water.
  • Empty and refill bird baths at least once a week.
  • Clean, drain and cover pools or hot tubs if not in use.
  • Fill tree holes with tar or cement.
  • Tightly screen all openings of your home.
  • Keep children indoors during times of peak mosquito activity.
  • Wear light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Use insect repellent on both skin and clothing. Repellents should contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil for skin and permethrin for clothing. Follow label directions.

Find even more suggestions and statistics on the CDC's website.

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