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Three more Oklahomans die from West Nile

Three more Oklahomans have died from West Nile virus, according to state Health Department figures released Thursday. The virus is still active in Oklahoma, despite cooler temperatures.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: October 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm •  Published: October 3, 2013
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The virus is spread when a person is bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Rarely, West Nile virus also has been spread through blood transfusions.

About 80 percent of people who contract the virus never become sick. Of those who become sick, most will have a mild illness called West Nile fever that lasts two to 10 days.

>>Read: First West Nile case confirmed in Oklahoma County for 2013 (Published Aug. 15, 2013)

Common symptoms of West Nile fever include headache, fever and tiredness, according to the state Health Department. Some people might also develop a rash.

In some cases, West Nile virus can cause severe neurological diseases such as meningitis, or swollen membranes in the brain and spinal cord; paralysis, or loss of muscle function; or encephalitis, which is swelling and inflammation of the brain.

Public health officials urge residents to use mosquito repellent while outside and clear homes of standing water, which can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

>>Read: West Nile virus claims Oklahoma County woman (published Sept. 5, 2013)

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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