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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

Less than one percent of people who are infected will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, or inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This year, nine Oklahomans — who range in age from at least 10 years old to older than 80 — have developed neuroinvasive disease because of West Nile virus. Symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis, according to the CDC.

There is no cure or vaccine for West Nile virus. If a person is admitted to the hospital, a doctor generally can only treat their symptoms.

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