First case of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year

Tuesday, June 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- This year's first confirmed case of the West Nile virus in Oklahoma has been reported.

State veterinarian Burke Healey reported the case Monday. It involves a female foal from Sallisaw.

Doctor Kristy Bradley, a veterinarian with the Health Department, says officials are concerned this early case could mean a more severe epidemic during mosquito season.

In 2002, Oklahoma's first West Nile case in a bird was reported July 18th, the first equine case came August ninth and the first human case was reported August 26th.

Two Oklahomans died from the virus last year. There were 21 human cases.

State health authorities have also confirmed two cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and are investigating more than 30 other possible cases of the tick-borne disease.

No deaths have been linked to the West Nile virus or Rocky Mountain spotted fever so far this year.