A new Pittsburg County case was the only report this week of West Nile virus in Oklahoma, according to the state Health Department.
Oklahoma was one of 10 states hit hardest this year by the virus, with more than 70 percent of all cases reported in Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This year, the state Health Department confirmed 176 cases of West Nile virus and 12 deaths, the highest number of cases and deaths the state has seen since the virus entered the U.S. in 1999.
The majority of cases were in people older than 60. People older than 50 are at highest risk for developing the more severe symptoms of West Nile virus, including paralysis and brain swelling.
West Nile virus is contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be passed on through human-to-human contact.
Most people who contract West Nile virus do not develop serious illness. Once a person contracts West Nile, that person is immune to the virus. There is no cure or vaccine for West Nile virus.
The state Health Department recommends using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside. Also, it's important to remove stagnant water from neighborhoods, as it can serve as a mosquito breeding ground.