OKLAHOMA CITY – While many families will be spending time in the sun this summer, health experts are warning them to take precautions against mosquito bites.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department confirmed that a mosquito collected in Oklahoma County has tested positive for West Nile Virus.
“Residents need to focus on reducing habitats where mosquitoes live and breed by getting rid of any sources of stagnant water and wearing repellent containing DEET,” said OCCHD Public Health Protection Director Phil Maytubby.
To prevent mosquitoes near your home:
- Dump standing water from bird baths, tires, flower pots, and toys
- Keep swimming pools clean and free of stagnant water
- Refresh your pet’s water bowl daily
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when working outside
- Use a repellent containing DEET
- Clean clogged gutters
- Make sure window screens are in good repair.
Maytubby says that mosquito season started about a month later than normal due to colder than normal temperatures.
Last year, Oklahoma County had seven confirmed cases of West Nile Virus, but no fatalities.
Symptoms of West Nile Virus can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss and numbness. People with certain medical conditions and the elderly are more at risk.
Recovery may take several weeks or months.