Tulsa Health Department Urges Protection Against West Nile Virus

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The Tulsa Health Department (THD) wants to remind the public to take precautions against West Nile virus (WNV). The months of July through October are the highest risk months for exposure to WNV in Oklahoma.

Thus far in 2008, two human cases of WNV have been confirmed in Oklahoma. The cases were in Pittsburg and Logan counties. There are currently no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Tulsa County. The state of Oklahoma reported 107 human cases of WNV for 2007, with 8 deaths. Tulsa County reported 34 human cases of WNV in 2007 with 3 deaths.

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"From testing in previous years, we know that the disease is now a seasonal health threat throughout Oklahoma," said Tulsa Health Department Director Gary Cox.

WNV is transmitted in Oklahoma primarily by Culex mosquitoes. These mosquitoes pick up the virus when they feed on infected birds, and then transmit the virus when they bite humans, horses and some other mammals. Symptoms of West Nile disease include fever, intense headache, extreme tiredness, muscle weakness, and dizziness.

To protect against mosquitoes, the Tulsa Health Department suggests that you remember the "4 D's of Defense" prevention tips. They include the following:

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