Officials warn about dangers of West Nile Virus after infected mosquitoes found in Oklahoma County

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OKLAHOMA COUNTY - Oklahoma County officials are warning residents about dangers of the West Nile Virus after infected mosquitoes carried it to the Oklahoma City metro area.

Since 2013, county officials have been trapping mosquitoes inside a trap and testing them for diseases.

"It's a CDC gravity trap. It has water and hay in it and, as it decomposes, it puts off C02, which is what attracts the mosquitoes,” said Phil Maytubby, Oklahoma City County Health Department health director.

The trap catches mosquitoes that primarily carry West Nile Virus, which are usually small, brown mosquitoes.

Another trap works to attract mosquitoes that typically carry the Zika Virus. Those mosquitoes usually have white stripes on their legs.

"In 2012, we had a horrific year. A lot of people passed away from West Nile Virus,” Maytubby said.

After about a week, the trapped mosquitoes are collected, separated and tested.

"We have mosquitoes just about everywhere, and we have West Nile Virus just about everywhere,” Maytubby said.

Standing water, flower pots and even pet bowls can be breeding grounds for insects.

"No human cases yet. It's a little early, but we are right at the beginning of what we call our West Nile Virus season, which is June to September,” Maytubby said. "You're going to start seeing mosquito cases go up, and you're probably going to see our human cases go up."

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