Columbus Public Health said Friday that a man has gotten the first human case of West Nile virus of the season.
“We have actually found West Nile virus all over the city this year,” said Ryan Younge, the Vector Program Manager for Columbus Public Health.
It has been a busy year for the team that works to control mosquitoes.
“This summer has been a particularly bad year for West Nile virus,” said Younge, “I contribute that to the early rains we had in the spring and then it getting very dry this summer.”
Now, they are investigating the first case of West Nile virus in a 61-year-old man.
“It was over near the Westerville area, but it is still in the city of Columbus,” he said.
The good news, the man wasn’t hospitalized and has recovered.
The team at Columbus Public Health has sprayed the area.
“We have actually done it twice since they developed symptoms,” he said.
CPH practices control and prevention of disease like West Nile virus by trapping mosquitoes, answering complaints, treating standing water and spraying certain areas.
Now, the team is sending a safety message.
“If you do get bit a lot maybe avoid dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active,” said Younge, “but, if you do go outside wear long sleeves, long pants. I know that is hard in the summer, so if you don’t want to do that, wear an EPA registered bug repellent.”
Younge said people can take their own steps.
“The number one thing I always recommend for residents is tip toss and turn, which means any standing water,” he said.
For many dogwalkers in the area, it’s news that had them thinking.
“That is scary because right away I think about my granddaughter, you know who is 8,” said resident Bill Rogge, “and what if she would get it? So, makes me think, should we use more bug spray? Should we take more precautions with it?”
Others talked about precautions too.
“I think I will now from this point going forward,” said resident Chuck Walton.
If you see what looks like problematic standing water, call 3-1-1 and have crews investigate.
Young said West Nile virus can often feel like dealing with the flu, and that the virus can be more dangerous for groups like the elderly, pregnant women and more.