West Nile virus claims Oklahoma County woman

An Oklahoma County woman is the first person in the state to die from West Nile this year, the state Health Department reported Thursday. The woman who died was between 70 and 79.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: September 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm •  Published: September 5, 2013
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An Oklahoma County woman is the first person in the state to die from West Nile this year, the state Health Department reported Thursday.

The state Health Department has confirmed four cases of West Nile virus this year in Oklahoma, all in Oklahoma County.

The woman who died was between 70 and 79. The other three people who had confirmed cases of West Nile virus were a female between the ages of 10 and 19, and two other people younger than 50.

Research has shown that people older than 50 are usually at the greatest risk for developing serious complications because of West Nile. About 80 percent of people who contract the virus generally don't show symptoms.

Public health officials continue to warn residents to take precautions against West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne illness that's contracted when a mosquito carrying the virus bites a person.

People with West Nile virus typically experience symptoms of fever, headache, nausea, muscle weakness and body aches lasting two to six days or longer. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile virus, and medical professionals generally can only treat the symptoms the virus causes. In more serious cases, West Nile can cause paralysis or brain swelling.

Phil Maytubby, chief of public health protection at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, said the health department staff has received several calls from residents reporting areas that could potentially serve as mosquito breeding grounds.

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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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At a glance

West Nile virus

• People with West Nile virus typically experience symptoms of fever, headache, nausea, muscle weakness and body aches lasting two to six days.

• There is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile virus.

• In more serious cases, West Nile can cause paralysis or brain swelling.

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