West Nile Virus Update 2003
Ft. Sill, Ok. – Ft. Sill reported last year in testing pools of mosquitoes trapped on post that West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, had been confirmed to be present on the installation. So far this year, none of that virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes tested, according to a Ft. Sill News Service media release.
But a dead crow brought by a post resident for testing did come up postive.
According to Captain Karrie Lovins from Preventive Medicine, birds and unvaccinated horses are most at risk for the disease, but the risk to residents and workers on post is very low. She urged people to be proactive in being safe from mosquito bites. That includes wearing insect repellent with DEET, and emptying standing water from their property to help keep mosquitoes from breeding.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health said the first human case of West Nile virus in 2003 in the state has been comfirmed in a 29-year old Tulsa man who was hospitalized but now is recovering at home. Test results in two other human cases await confirmation, one in Beaver County, the other in Okmulgee County. Last year 21 human cases were confirmed in Oklahoma, and two people died of West Nile virus in the Sooner State.