One new case of West Nile virus reported Tuesday in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has seen its highest number of cases of West Nile virus this year and the highest number of West Nile virus-related deaths.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: October 24, 2012
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Only one new case of West Nile virus was reported Tuesday in the state Health Department's biweekly West Nile report.

The Health Department has confirmed 174 cases of West Nile virus this year in Oklahoma, the largest number of reported cases the state has seen since the virus entered the U.S. in 1999.

Twelve residents have died this year as a result of the virus, the highest number of West Nile virus-related deaths the state has seen.

There have been 4,531 cases confirmed nationwide this year, the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the third week in October since 2003.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness. It is not spread through human-to-human contact. Most people who contract the virus do not develop illness or will develop a mild form of West Nile.

People older than 50 are at the highest risk of developing serious complications related to West Nile virus, including paralysis and brain swelling.

The state Health Department recommends that residents continue to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors and use mosquito repellent. It's also important to remove stagnant water outside, as it can serve as a mosquito breeding ground.