Health officials: Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in Oklahoma

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TULSA, Okla. – As the temperatures climb, so does your risk of mosquito bites.

Oklahomans are very familiar with the summertime pests but health officials are warning residents across the state to take extra precautions.

The Tulsa County Health Department announced on Tuesday that samples of mosquitoes from several traps throughout the area have tested positive for West Nile virus.

So far, no Oklahomans have been diagnosed with the virus this year in Tulsa County.

“The Zika virus seems to dominate the headlines right now, but at this time there have been no locally transmitted cases of Zika in the contiguous United States,” said Bernard Dindy, Tulsa Health Department environmental health services program manager. “Historically speaking, we have seen human cases of West Nile virus disease in Tulsa County, some of which have resulted in death. Therefore we can’t stress enough how important it is to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and protect your family from mosquito borne illnesses.”

Officials say families should prevent standing water so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed, use insect repellent containing DEET ¬†and keep screens on doors and windows.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include sudden onset of fever, headache, dizziness and muscle weakness. Long-lasting complications include difficulty concentrating, headaches, extreme muscle weakness or tremors and paralysis of a limb.

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