Local health department confirms multiple positive samples of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus

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File photo of a mosquito

OKLAHOMA CITY – Health officials say they have found two samples of the West Nile Virus in Oklahoma County.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department confirmed two positive samples of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus in Oklahoma County.

Last month, the health department said a second person had been diagnosed with the virus in Oklahoma County.

The virus is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus to humans and other mammals.

Officials say the Culex mosquito is more prevalent during mid-to-late summer when the temperatures are hotter and the weather pattern is drier.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include sudden onset of fever, headache, dizziness and muscle weakness.

Health officials want to remind residents to  take extra precaution against the mosquito-born illness by avoiding mosquito bites and reducing habitats where mosquitoes live and breed.

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.

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.

Fortunately, swimming pools and fish ponds with circulating water are usually not a problem.

“As long as the water is moving, the larvae cannot grow,” said Phil Maytubby, the county’s public health protection director.

Be sure to protect your home from invading mosquitos by keeping window and door screens in good repair.

Here is a simple way to remember how to “Fight the Bite” using the 4 D’s of mosquito safety:

  1. DRAIN standing water on your property so mosquitoes won’t breed
  2. Use insect repellant that contains DEET on your clothes
  3. Stay indoors at DUSK and DAWN when mosquitos are most prevalent
  4. DRESS in long sleeves and pants and spray repellant on your clothes.

 

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