Eighth Oklahoma West Nile Death In Tulsa County

Tuesday, September 11th 2012, 7:48 am
By: Dave Davis, Craig Day

The Oklahoma Department of Health has confirmed another Tulsa County resident has died from West Nile.

That brings the total number of virus-related deaths in Oklahoma to eight people.

State health leaders say the latest victim is a man over the age of 65.

But they are quick to point out, the very young and just about everyone over the age of 40, need to take precautions.

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One man recovering from the illness said we all need to be cautious.

Doug Taylor was back working, Monday, as a district sales manager, but he said he'd much rather be home in bed. He's sore, fatigued, and West Nile is to blame.

"I felt really bad. I'm a pretty big tough guy, and I don't get down easily," Taylor said.

But Taylor said West Nile knocked him down for an entire week, and he still doesn't feel well.

He said, at his worst, he was, "Where I was just so sore and achey I couldn't get out of bed."

The illness is transmitted through mosquitoes. Taylor is one of 127 confirmed West Nile cases in Oklahoma this year, which broke the record number of cases, set back in 2007.

Taylor said he never really used insect repellent before, but does now, and wants others to be aware of the potential dangers of the illness.

"People get varying degrees of how the disease affects them, but for me, it was serious enough for me to take a whole week off work, but second—to go to the doctor, because I never go to the doctor," Taylor said.

This week, the Tulsa Health Department tested 45 traps countywide, discovering a mosquito with the virus in just one of those traps.

That was in Sand Springs.

9/6/2012 Related Story: More Cases Of West Nile Virus Diagnosed In Oklahoma

For Taylor, his doctor said he'll have anywhere from two weeks to two months of fatigue and muscle pain.

He's urging others to take precautions.

"Contract the disease and get the effects that I got, you wouldn't, you wouldn't want it," Taylor said.

So far, Tulsa County has had three deaths connected to West Nile virus. Oklahoma and Carter counties each have recorded two deaths and Seminole County has had one death this year.

The Tulsa Health Department said they are seeing fewer mosquitoes in its traps, because of the lack of rain.

But there is still plenty of the West Nile season left.

According to the most recent statistics, Oklahoma is the fifth worst state in the nation for West Nile cases.