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For Release: Sept. 4, 2012 – Leslea Bennett-Webb, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

West Nile Virus Cases Break Record

Oklahoma’s public health warning concerning West Nile virus continues as today’s West Nile virus case total has jumped to 118, the highest number of cases ever recorded in a single year in Oklahoma. Two additional deaths have also been reported, for a total of seven.

State health officials warn that favorable conditions continue for the spread of WNV. Using insect repellent when outdoors, draining standing water from items in the yard that mosquitoes can use to breed, and assuring doors and window screens are in good repair are essential to “fighting the bite” to help prevent West Nile virus.

“Our surveillance findings clearly show that Oklahoma adults over the age of 40 are at greatest risk of becoming seriously ill after an encounter with a mosquito carrying West Nile virus,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “We continue to urge people in this age group to heed the warning and regularly practice their personal protection methods. Something as simple as using mosquito repellent can spare you from a life changing disease.”

For more information on WNV prevention, visit www.health.ok.gov, or call your local county health department.

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