Mosquito Population On The Rise
Thursday, July 12th 2007, 9:53 am
By: News On 6
A Tulsa man suffering from viral meningitis may have gotten the disease from a mosquito bite. With one of the wettest seasons on record this year, the mosquito population is on the rise and some are concerned about what this means for the spread of disease. The News On 6â€™s Heather Lewin reports doctors are keeping an eye out but aren't very worried.
More rain, more mosquitoes. You may not be enjoying this wet, tropical summer but Oklahoma's bugs certainly are. If the circumstances are just right, a person could get very sick from a mosquito bite, but doctors say such cases are highly unusual.
"Well, I would say of all the people who have a flu-like illness that may be meningitis, very rarely end up having a mosquito-borne virus,â€ said Urgent Care Physician Dr. Craig Kennedy.
Viral meningitis, while certainly unpleasant, is luckily not a serious illness like it's bacterial cousin. The viral form can be spread person to person like the flu, or in very few cases, by a mosquito bite.
Most people more commonly associate West Nile Virus with mosquitoes.
"Out of the millions of mosquito bites, very rarely do they transmit infection, but we have been getting an occasional case of West Nile Virus in this state,â€ said Dr. Craig Kennedy. â€œMost people who might get the infection don't even know it."
Kennedy says less than 1% of infected people actually develop a serious case of West Nile. Health professionals say while most Oklahomans have already been exposed and are immune, there's still a health concern, especially if you have severe flu-like symptoms and it's not flu-season.
"If patients have a severe headache, altered mental status with a high fever, severe confusion, disorientation, that does need immediate emergency medical attention,â€ Dr. Kennedy said.
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For more mosquito information, visit American Mosquito Control Association