First case of West Nile virus in Oklahoma
West Nile Virus is typically spread from mosquitos to humans. Oklahoma is seeing it’s first signs of the virus in it’s borders. (Photo provided by Pixabay.)
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in Oklahoma.
Five mosquito pools carrying the virus were found in Oklahoma Country last week.
“Nile virus is spread through the bite of a Culex mosquito. That type of mosquito increases in number during mid- to late-summer, when the weather is dry and temperatures rise,” said KOCO.
West Nile virus (WNV) is commonly transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. Additional human infection also have been documented. Blood transfusions, organ transplants, and exposure in laboratory setting were also documented for the virus.
Fortunately, most people infected with WNV show no symptoms.
About 1 in 5 people infected will develop a fever along with other symptoms such as body aches, headache, joint paints, vomiting diarrhea or rash.
Less than 1% of infected people will develop a serious, fatal, neurological illness. The symptoms of neurological illness include neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures or paralysis.
Most people with West Nile virus disease recover completely, but weakness and fatigue may last for weeks or months.
“You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Repellents containing picariding, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus provides longer-lasting protection. One must use repellent according to label instructions.
It’s crucial to wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when going outside in order to prevent mosquitoes from biting you.
It’s advised to install or repair screens on windows and doors in order to keep mosquitoes outside. Using air conditioning also decreases the changes of mosquitoes indoors.
Empty standing water from buckets, pet water dishes, gutters, and flowerpots on a regular basis is mandatory in order to avoid the virus from spreading.
Unfortunately, treatment is limited for cases of West Nile virus. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for the infection of the virus.
Pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relive some of the symptoms. In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment such as pain medication, nursing care, and intravenous fluids.
Dead birds may be a sign that the West Nile virus is circulating in the area. Monitor West Nile virus by reporting dead birds to state and local health departments. Be a part of the community and help raise awareness. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/.