West Nile virus continues to spread

Saturday, August 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Twenty-two birds in nine Oklahoma counties have tested positive for West Nile virus.

Seven of those birds were found in Tulsa County, six in Wagoner County, three in Oklahoma County, and one each in Ottawa, Pittsburg, Okmulgee, Payne, Logan, and Carter Counties.

If you want to report a dead bird... especially crows and blue jays... call toll free 1-800-990-CROW.

While West Nile is the latest illness passed by mosquitoes to hit the U-S, it's not the only one. Mosquitos carry at least eight different diseases, and as the News on Six's Amy Moore found out some are much more harmful.

Although it's not common in the U.S mosquitoes can carry Malaria and Yellow Fever.

Dengue fever is usually common in south and central america, but it's creeping upward. Cases in Texas are on the rise.

Most commonly mosquitoes carry Encephalitis type illnesses, Encephalitis causes swelling of the brain. West Nile can cause encephalitis, but also St. Louis, Lacross and Eastern and Western Encephalitis. Of those Eastern and Western Equine can be the most serious.

Amy tells us health officials have tested nine Oklahomans for West Nile so far. Those tests were negative, and although the chance of contracting it is low, experts expect someone in Oklahoma to eventually catch it.