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First case of West Nile virus found in Oklahoma

  • The Associated Press
  • Published Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 10:38 a.m.

— The first case of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year has been confirmed in a Major County resident.

The Oklahoma Department of Health said Thursday the victim is over the age of 50 but declined to release more details.

There were 84 cases of West Nile virus confirmed in Oklahoma last year, including eight deaths. Those infected ranged in age from 17 to 92 years.

The virus is spread by the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus when biting humans, horses and other mammals. Symptoms include a sudden fever, headache, dizziness, and muscle weakness.

Summertime typically marks the beginning of the West Nile season in Oklahoma, with outdoor activities exposing people to infected mosquitoes. The highest risk months in Oklahoma are July through October.

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