17 June 2024
oklahoma west nile virus

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s mosquito surveillance program in Payne County has detected West Nile Virus (WNV) activity. Mosquitoes transmit WNV, and a positive mosquito pool indicates an increased risk of WNV exposure for people in the area. WNV symptoms are usually mild, but severe cases can lead to meningitis or encephalitis and potentially death.

To protect against WNV infection, individuals can take the following steps:

  • Use EPA-approved insect repellent like DEET when outdoors.
  • Eliminate standing water inside and outside the home, as it is where mosquitoes lay eggs.
  • Maintain window screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Avoid being outdoors during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants to shield the skin from mosquito bites.

Communities can also help by conducting inspections to identify and eliminate areas of stagnant water that serve as mosquito breeding grounds. This includes treating water in tires and abandoned swimming pools with larvicide, repairing areas where water collects and does not drain, and conducting city-wide campaigns to eliminate debris that can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.