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Oklahoma reports four cases of West Nile virus

Oklahoma health officials have reported four confirmed cases of West Nile virus. There have been two people hospitalized and two people treated, but no deaths in the state this year.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: August 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm •  Published: August 28, 2014

There have been four cases confirmed of people with West Nile virus this year outside of Oklahoma County, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported.

In Ellis and Tulsa counties, two people have been treated for the disease, said Pam Williams, spokeswoman for the department. And in Major and Mayes counties, two people have been hospitalized, according to information released Thursday from the health department.

All of those people are over 50 years old, Williams said.

Hot and dry weather can contribute to an increase in West Nile virus in birds and mosquitoes, said Dr. Kristy Bradley, of the state health department.

“It has been a relatively low incident (West Nile cases) year but we always caution people that late summer and early fall cases can pick up,” Bradley said. “So people should not let their guard down.”

People should protect themselves from mosquitoes, especially during dusk and dawn hours.

Waite Colbaugh, a mosquito program specialist in Oklahoma County, said residents should take extra precaution against the mosquito-borne illness by avoiding mosquito bites and reducing habitats where mosquitoes live and breed.

One case of West Nile virus has been found in a mosquito in Oklahoma County.