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West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (WNV) is a reportable disease in Oklahoma. Persons are at greatest risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes from July through October in our state. Persons of any age can become ill after being bitten by an infected mosquito, but those over the age of 50 are at greater risk of developing serious illness involving the nervous system. Over 80% of people infected with the virus never become ill. If people do become ill, most cases are mild with symptoms such as a fever, headache, tiredness and body aches that go away on their own. Some people may develop a rash on the trunk of the body. In more severe cases, persons can develop meningitis or other neurologic disease.
The mosquito population boom that has resulted from the excessive recent rainfall does not foretell a more severe WNV season. It is helpful to know some key points about the differences in types of mosquitoes and the features of West Nile virus transmission:
The Oklahoma State Department of Health advises use of insect repellents—particularly those containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD), or IR 3535—when enjoying outdoor activities like gardening, yard work, camping, or other leisure activities. The type of mosquitoes that transmit WNV are most active during early morning and evening hours, so it is important to take mosquito bite precautions during that time of the day. It is also recommended to drain or treat standing water around your home with a mosquito larvacide to reduce mosquito breeding sites.
West Nile virus Surveillance Data and Statistics: 2016
West Nile virus Surveillance Data and Statistics: 2015
West Nile virus Fact Sheets and Information:
West Nile Virus Fact Sheet
News Release: McAlester Couple’s Lives Change After West Nile Virus Strikes
West Nile Virus (CDC)
This page last updated February 9, 2017.
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