West Nile cases rise this summer
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Friday, August 10, 2012
A dramatic increase has been seen in cases of West Nile virus this summer, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
There have been 31 cases reported in 10 counties, including nine cases in Tulsa County.
This exceeds the total numbers of cases in the past four years combined.
The majority of the cases have involved of the most severe form of the disease, which can cause high fever, disorientation, convulsions, coma or limb paralysis.
Most of the cases have been Oklahomans older than 40, and about a quarter have been in patients ages 70 to 79.
Most patients reported that they likely were exposed to the virus in their home county, from activities such as doing yard work, gardening or relaxing outside.
Health officials warn people to use insect repellent with DEET when outside, particularly from dusk to dawn.