Headline News

19
Aug 2011
LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS CASE IN WADSWORTH CITY

Wadsworth, Ohio - The Medina County Health Department received confirmation on August 18, 2011, of a case of La Crosse Encephalitis (LCE) in the City of Wadsworth. LCE is a virus that is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. In the U.S., LCE is not common as only about 80-100 cases are reported each year. Likewise, Ohio typically has few cases, and in 2011 to date, 5 human cases have been reported, all in the northeast Ohio area. With the increase in mosquito populations from the exceptionally wet weather this spring and summer, there is a higher chance of mosquito-borne diseases such as LCE and West Nile virus (WNV). The Wadsworth case is the first report of LCE in Medina County since 2005.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), many people infected with LCE have no apparent symptoms. Among people who become ill, symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Some people develop more severe conditions which can affect the nervous system and cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain), possibly leading to seizures, coma, paralysis, and even death. There is no specific treatment for LCE infection, and care is based on symptoms.

The best way to reduce your risk of LCE or other mosquito-borne infections is to prevent mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that spread LCE are most active during the day. Other species of mosquito that spread other illnesses bite at dawn and dusk. Ways you can protect yourself and your family from biting mosquitoes and potential exposure to LCE, WNV, and other mosquito-borne diseases include:
  • Eliminate standing water/mosquito-breeding sites around your home (such as cans; bottles; bird baths; swimming, wading, or decorative pools; pool covers; tarps; buckets; tires; holes in trees; clogged ditches or drainage ways; clogged rain gutters; tire ruts; and animal hoof prints).
  • Keep weeds and tall grass to a minimum.
  • Make sure doors and windows have screens to keep mosquitoes out. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  • Avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite.
  • If you must be outside during active times, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, and use an insect repellant containing DEET.
The Medina County Health Department conducts an annual mosquito control program throughout the county to help protect the county’s residents from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses. With LCE now present in the City of Wadsworth area, the Medina County Health Department plans to increase surveillance and larvaciding activities in this area. Residents can report standing water areas and obtain more information about mosquitoes and our treatment program by contacting the Medina County Health Department Environmental Division at 330-723-9523, toll free at 888-723-9688, or by visiting our website at: www.medinahealth.org.

Mosquito Control services are completely funded by your local property tax health levy. Medina County Health Matters!
Posted by Tina Gienger on August 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM
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