Butler County has first confirmed case of West Nile virus

A Monroe woman is the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in Butler County.

The Butler County Health Department confirmed today the first human case of the virus and the first positive mosquito samples in 2017.

Debbie Ridenour of Monroe said she had been sick for three weeks and was hospitalized for four days at Atrium Medical Center last week.

MORE: Human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Clark County

“I had severe headaches and I felt so bad that I couldn’t move my eyes,” she said, adding that her neck was sore and she had fevers and nausea.

After a spinal tap was conducted and cultures were taken, it was confirmed she had West Nile virus, she told this news outlet.

“People need to pay attention to their surroundings and watch themselves around standing water where mosquitoes are,” she said. “I don’t get sick, but this really took me down.”

Ridenour, a retired Navy senior chief petty officer, said there are two ponds at her home and that she didn’t think too much about mosquito bites.

“I was really surprised when I was told it was West Nile disease,” she said.

Mosquito-borne diseases are a threat throughout mosquito season, which extends until the first frost, according to the Butler County Health Department.

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  • If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, which is less attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Use EPA-registered mosquito repellent and follow the label directions.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.


  • Eliminate standing water.
  • Empty or remove water-holding containers, such as buckets, unused flower pots and bird baths.
  • Make sure all roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
  • Keep child wading pools empty and on their sides when not being used.

Source: Ohio Department of Health

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