OKC-County Health Department Confirms Human Case Of West Nile Virus

Thursday, July 9th 2015, 11:16 am
By: News 9

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department has confirmed one human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Oklahoma County.

Health officials said there has also been a positive test this week for the presence of the virus in the local mosquito population. This is the second positive test this year and confirms the presence of West Nile Virus in the Oklahoma County mosquito population.

Officials advise residents to take extra precaution against the mosquito-borne illness by avoiding mosquito bites and reducing the habitats where mosquitoes live and breed.  

"One of the most effective measures people can take is looking around their homes to identify and get rid of any sources of standing, stagnant water where mosquito larvae can grow," said OCCHD Public Health Protection Director Phil Maytubby.

To reduce mosquito habitats: Prevent items such as buckets, cans, pool covers, flower pots and tires from holding standing water.  Empty and refill birdbaths and your pet's outdoor water bowl daily.

Swimming pools and fishponds with circulating water generally are not a problem.   "As long as the water if moving the larvae cannot grow," Maytubby said.

For standing water sources that cannot be drained, OCCHD recommends microbial larvicides that kill mosquito larvae before they emerge as adults. Use of larvicides can reduce or eliminate the need for ground or aerial application of pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes.   They are available at hardware or home improvement stores.

Keep window and door screens in good repair.

Here is a simple way to remember how to "Fight The Bite" using the 4D's of mosquito safety:

DRAIN standing water on your property so mosquitoes won't breed.

Use Insect repellant that contains DEET on your clothes

Stay Indoors at DUSK and DAWN when mosquitoes are most prevalent

DRESS in long sleeves and pants and spray repellant on your clothes

West Nile symptoms include fever, headache, body ache and sometimes a rash.  The most susceptible to the illness include infants and the elderly. If symptoms are severe, health officials say to contact your doctor immediately.