West Nile Survivor Urges Precaution After Virus Confirmed In Tulsa County
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Health Department confirmed the West Nile Virus is in Tulsa County. The infected mosquito was trapped in midtown in the square mile between 11th and 21st and Yale to Sheridan.
Now, health experts, and one survivor are warning the public to take extra precautions.
“When it hit me, I could not move. The day that it hit me my wife said, ‘Well, let's go to bed.’ It hit me in the chair…I lost all my strength. All my body core. Everything," Hal Dalton said.
Doctors diagnosed Dalton with West Nile Virus six years ago. Since then, the 84-year-old McAlester man hasn't walked. He also went blind for six weeks and now can only partially see from his right eye.
But that isn't stopping him.
"When this first happened, my wife and I said, both, ‘It is what it is,’ and ‘We'll deal with it.’ I've never been down. I've always been up, and I have a lot of family around me, and that helps," he said.
To this day, Dalton isn't exactly sure when and where the mosquito bit him because he couldn’t feel it.
The message he, and the Tulsa Health Department, have is to take extra precaution.
“We always encourage people, if they are going to go outside, to wear an approved repellant that contains DEET or Picaridin, and that helps to keep some mosquitoes off of your exposed skin," said Scott Meador with the Tulsa Health Department.
Each week, the Tulsa Health Department puts out 25 to 30 traps in different locations.
Workers have tested 226 traps this year, so far, and this is the first positive result.
They'll now begin aggressive mosquito control in that part of Tulsa.
Meador also said there is a simple thing you can do to keep the bugs at bay.
“So, if you have any standing water in your yard, go ahead and dump that out," he said.
If you have a complaint about mosquitoes in your area of Tulsa County - call the health department's mosquito hotline at 918-595-4219.