First Case Of West Nile Virus Confirmed In Oklahoma For 2016

Thursday, June 16th 2016, 11:22 am
By: News On 6

The first case of West Nile Virus this year in Oklahoma has been confirmed in Pittsburg County, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. 

Collections of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile have been reported in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City as well.

The disease is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus when biting humans, horses and some other mammals, a news release reports. This type of mosquito increases in numbers during mid to late summer when the temperatures climb and the weather pattern is dry.

6/9/2016 Related Story: Concerns On The Rise After West Nile-Infected Mosquitoes Found In Tulsa County

Symptoms vary widely but include sudden onset of fever, headache, dizziness and muscle weakness. Most people recover in one to three weeks but there can be long-lasting complications including life-threatening development of meningitis or encephalitis.

Precautions to prevent mosquito bites include:

  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors, particularly if you are outside between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to bite. Insect repellent with permethrin should be used on clothing only. 
  • Repair or install window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the home. 
  • Prevent items such as buckets, cans, pool covers, flower pots, children’s toys and tires from holding water so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed. 
  • Empty your pet’s outdoor water bowl and refill daily.
  • Scrub and refill bird baths every three days. 
  • Clean leaves and debris from rain gutters regularly to ensure they are not clogged.