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Nine more Oklahomans sickened by West Nile

The majority of West Nile cases do not develop into serious illness, but many affected this year in Oklahoma have developed threatening symptoms.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: September 13, 2013

Nine more Oklahomans have been sickened with West Nile virus, according to numbers released Thursday through the state Health Department.

Oklahoma has seen 13 cases of West Nile virus this year, including one person who has died and nine residents who developed serious brain and tissue diseases.

So far, cases have been reported in Comanche, Canadian, Oklahoma, Cleveland, Rogers, Cherokee and Muskogee counties.

This year, the state has seen significantly fewer cases of West Nile virus, which sickens people after they're bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus.

By Sept. 12 of last year, eight Oklahoma residents had died as a result of West Nile, and 127 residents had been sickened. Among those who died, two were in Oklahoma County, three were in Tulsa County, one was in Seminole County and two were in Carter County.

About 80 percent of people who are bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus don't develop symptoms. If they do get sick, most cases of West Nile virus are mild.

However, so far this year, the majority of Oklahoma residents who have a confirmed case of West Nile virus have developed serious illness.

People older than 50 are generally at a greater risk of developing serious symptoms related to West Nile virus.

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