Mosquitoes with West Nile virus detected in Morrow County
West Nile virus, a mild flu-like disease spread by mosquitoes, has been reported to have been found in two testing sites in Morrow County Oregon, according to Oregon Public Health officials. Two sites were found near the City of Boardman and the City of Irrigon.
Health officials are advising people in Morrow County to take precautions against mosquitoes in order to avoid the risk of infection. “The risk of contracting West Nile virus may be low, but we do encourage people to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Greg Barron, Manager of North Morrow Vector Control District. “We will continue to increase our mosquito control operations utilizing our Ultra Low Volume (ULV) truck mounted sprayers to reduce adult mosquito populations,” Barron said.
Dr. Emilio DeBess, public health veterinarian says simple precautions can prevent the spread of West Nile virus:
- Eliminate sources of standing water that are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including watering troughs, bird baths, clogged gutters and old tires.
- When engaged in outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active protect yourself by using mosquito repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picardin and follow the directions on the container.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in mosquito-infested areas.
- Make sure screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.
Because of the number of mosquito pools testing positive in any area could lead to infection, Shelley Wight, Morrow County Health Department Health Educator / Communicable Disease Coordinator recommends people and animals be protected against mosquito bites.
Eighty percent of people infected with West Nile virus exhibit no symptoms. Of the remaining 20 percent, most have very mild symptoms, such as fever, headaches and nausea lasting from three to six days. In a few cases, more severe symptoms (more) occur including convulsions or disorientation. The central nervous system also may be affected, resulting in a headache associated with fever, aseptic meningitis or encephalitis. Consult your health care provider if you have these symptoms. Health Care Providers may contact the Morrow County Health Department for information on West Nile virus testing services that the Oregon Public Health Lab offers.