Number Of West Nile Virus Cases In Oklahoma Breaks Record

Tuesday, September 4th 2012, 12:19 pm

By: News On 6

The state health department reported Tuesday the highest number of West Nile virus cases in a single year in Oklahoma.

There have also been two more deaths, and both are from Tulsa County.

Weekly mosquito testing is keeping the Tulsa County Health Department busy.

Tulsa County had its first positive West Nile Virus results in mosquitoes on July 9, which was a month earlier than normal.

Despite rising statewide numbers, Tulsa County hasn't had any mosquitoes test positive in three weeks.

See the breakdown by county.

See a map of West Nile positive sites in Tulsa County.

"Compared to where we started, yeah that's a long time," said Scott Meador, Tulsa County environmental specialist. "Right now is the peak time for West Nile virus. If we were going to continue to see it, it would be now on a typical year."

But this isn't a typical year, it's a record-breaking year.

Oklahoma now has 118 West Nile cases and, of those cases, seven people have died.

The two latest deaths were in Tulsa County—one person under the age of 65 and the other person over 65.

Environmental Specialist Scott Meador said the standard rule is that about 1% of mosquitoes carry the virus and only 1% of the people bit by those mosquitoes show symptoms.

"Yeah, the math seems extreme," Meador said.

The most deadly year for West Nile in Oklahoma was 2007 with 9 fatal cases. That's just two more than this year.

8/30/2012 Related Story: 9 New West Nile Cases Confirmed In Oklahoma, 101 Total This Year

The state health department is continuing its public health warning about West Nile virus.

"We're not going to let our guard down, we are going to continue to collect mosquitoes and we are going to continue to test them for West Nile virus," Meador said.

The season runs through the end of September, and the severity depends on rainfall and temperature.

The Tulsa County health department sends out trucks every weeknight to spray for mosquitoes, as long as it's not rainy or too windy.

You can call 918-595-4219 to request spraying in your neighborhood.

Complete West Nile Virus coverage


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