For Release: _______, 2009
Contact: Michael Echelle, Administrative Director
Pittsburg County Health Department
Pittsburg County Mosquito Pools Test Positive for West Nile Virus
The Pittsburg County Health Department announced today that mosquitoes collected from mosquito pools in Pittsburg County have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Even though no human cases of West Nile disease have been confirmed in Oklahoma yet this year, people should remain vigilant to protect themselves from mosquito and other insect-borne diseases.
“During this time of year, many Oklahomans are busy with yard work, participating in outdoor recreational activities, or just relaxing on the patio. They should remember to protect themselves against WNV-infected mosquitoes by practicing basic mosquito control prevention steps and to wear mosquito repellent when they are outside,” said Pittsburg County Health Department Administrative Director Michael Echelle.
The best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites. Continue mosquito prevention activities now around your home and work place. Check door and window screens and repair any tears or gaps. Clean out leaves and other debris in rain gutters to keep them flowing freely. Finally, practice the “4D’s of Defense” against West Nile virus, which include the following:
• Dusk and dawn – Wear repellent if outdoors during these prime times for mosquito activity.
• Dress – Wear long pants, long sleeves and closed toe shoes when outside to cover the skin.
• DEET – Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) when outdoors and reapply according to directions.
• Drain – Drain those items that collect standing water around your home, yard or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.
Symptoms of West Nile disease vary among individuals and may include fever, intense headache, extreme tiredness, muscle weakness, and dizziness. If one or more of these symptoms develop, especially after suffering mosquito bites within the previous two weeks, a health care provider should be contacted.
For more information about WNV prevention, contact the Pittsburg County Health Department at 918-423-1267.