Tulsa Health Department reports county's first cases of West Nile virus of the season

TULSA - County health officials say two cases of West Nile virus are confirmed in Tulsa County.

According to the Tulsa Health Department, these are the first human cases of WNV in Tulsa County this season.

"We are seeing a lot of mosquito activity...West Nile virus infected mosquitos are persistent throughout Tulsa County. So anyone living in Tulsa County are at risk for exposure," Tulsa County Health department spokeswoman Kaitlin Snider said.

WNV is passed through the bite of an infected mosquito, which has fed on infected birds. The virus is transmitted when infected mosquitoes bite humans, horses and other mammals.

Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, dizziness and muscle weakness.

Long term complications include difficulty concentrating, migraine headaches, extreme muscle weakness, tremors and paralysis of a limb.

According to the Tulsa Health Department, anyone living in an area where WNV is present is at risk for exposure but 80 percent of those infected will display no symptoms.

People older than 50 are at the greatest risk of developing severe neurologic disease from WNV infection.

To ward off mosquito bites, use an insect repellent containing DEET, repair or install window and door screens, prevent standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, change your pet's outdoor water daily and clean leaves and debris from rain gutters regularly.

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