Officials: Seven cases of West Nile Virus confirmed across Oklahoma

File photo of a mosquito

OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. – Even though temperatures are cool for mid-August, health officials say residents still need to take their precautions when it comes to battling mosquitoes.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says seven cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed across the state this year.

Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.

Officials say two of those West Nile Virus cases were in Oklahoma County.

Experts say there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from mosquitoes, including those carrying the virus.

“A few basic steps like removing any sources of stagnant water in flower pots, pet bowls, chimeneas, old tires, wheelbarrows, birdbaths and even kid’s toys will cut down on the mosquito population. Survey your property after a rain to get rid of mosquito habitats,” Phil Maytubby, OCCHD Public Health Protection Director, said.

Epidemiologists say you can also use microbial larvicides to kill larvae in water that can’t be drained.

All residents are urged to use the  3-D’s and a “P” of mosquito safety:

  • DRAIN standing water on your property so mosquitoes won’t breed
  • Use insect repellant that contains DEET on your clothes
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants and spray repellant on your clothes.
  • Protect – limit exposure and check window screens

Health officials say West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in Oklahoma, and it can be deadly in seniors.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, headache, body ache and a rash.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected with the virus will suffer symptoms.

“People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV. Being outside means you’re at risk – The more time you are outdoors, the more likely it is you could be bitten by an infected mosquito. Wearing repellent is sound way to protect against mosquito-borne illness,” said Oklahoma City -County Health Department Epidemiologist Eric Howard.