CINCINNATI: The West Nile Virus has killed an Ohioan for the first time this year as state health officials continue to see widespread infections.

The Ohio Department of Health said Wednesday that a 76-year-old Hamilton County man died after being infected with the virus and hospitalized with encephalitis.

The department says Ohio has seen 49 human cases of West Nile Virus this year. Thatís a dramatic increase from the two cases the state had by this time last year.

Most people infected with the virus experience fever, headache, fatigue and body aches. More serious cases develop into diseases like encephalitis and meningitis, with symptoms including high fever, convulsions and paralysis.

The department urges residents to be vigilant by using mosquito repellant, and avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn.