West Nile Virus is in OKC

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Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) public health protection experts confirm several samples of mosquitoes tested positive for carrying West Nile Virus. Epidemiologists and consumer protection investigators remind residents to be proactive in preventing breeding grounds for mosquitoes that can spread illness by paying attention to your property and avoiding exposure.

OCCHD Public Health Protection Director Phil Maytubby said, “The recent rain and warmer weather provide a favorable environment for mosquitoes to carry 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.”

OCCHD experts urge the public to place microbial larvicides also known as dunks in standing water that cannot be drained as it kills larvae before they emerge as adult mosquitoes. They can be found at most hardware stores.

Fight the Bite can make a difference by using the 3-Ds and a P of mosquito safety:

  • DRAIN standing water on your property.
  • DEET containing insect repellent when outside. (Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus)
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants that have been sprayed with repellent.
  • PROTECT by limiting exposure outside and check window screens

By not being proactive, Oklahomans put themselves at risk for mosquito-borne illness, such as West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV is the most common mosquito-borne disease in Oklahoma, and it’s a deadly threat especially to Senior Adults. WNV symptoms include fever, headache, body ache and sometimes a rash.