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More Oklahomans have West Nile than what's reported

Although Oklahoma has had significantly fewer cases of West Nile virus reported this year, the state still has one of the highest rates in the nation. And there are likely more Oklahomans who have contracted the virus than what state health data shows.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: September 26, 2013 at 10:35 pm •  Published: September 27, 2013

People who have milder symptoms might not realize they have contracted West Nile, she said.

Even though West Nile fever is considered milder than West Nile neuroinvasive disease, recovery can be difficult. Bradley said it can take weeks, and sometimes months, for a person who develops West Nile fever to feel normal again.

Common symptoms of West Nile fever include headache, fever and tiredness. Some people might also develop a rash, according to the Health Department.

Public health officials have urged residents to take precautions against mosquitoes by emptying standing water around their homes and using mosquito repellent while outdoors.

Although it's September, the state Health Department continues to report new cases of West Nile virus, Bradley said.

“We are still having persons becoming ill from exposure that are occurring in September,” Bradley said. “Our West Nile virus-spreading mosquitoes are very active, and people shouldn't let their guard down and not become one of our statistics, but really routinely use their repellent.”

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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