The Pryor Times

August 11, 2013

No West Nile virus found in Mayes County

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

— Cydney Baron

Staff Writer

There have been no findings of West Nile virus in Mayes County, according to the health department.

As summer months are winding down, many families are moving their summer activities indoors. Mosquitoes are reported as being more of a problem this year than usual.

In fact, Tulsa County has confirmed finding West Nile virus in mosquitoes.

While Mayes County has an abundance of the pests, the health department said the bugs are a nuisance more than a health hazard.

The Oklahoma Health Department's website says, “Over 80 percent of people infected with the virus never become ill. If people do become ill, most cases are mild with symptoms such as a fever, headache, tiredness and body aches that go away on their own.”

The health department said as most people never become ill, if an individual does become sick after being bitten by a mosquito they should call their doctor.

The department also advises using insect repellants, particularly those that contain “DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus (pmd).”

Not all mosquitoes carry the virus, but the type of mosquitoes that do transmit the virus are most active during early morning and evening hours.

It is also helpful, according to the health department, to drain or treat breeding sites such as standing water in buckets, flower pots, bird baths and pet water bowls.

A 2012 report showed no cases of the virus in Mayes County.

Several Mayes County towns have chosen to spray for mosquitoes to lessen the nuisance and risk.

At the June 10 board of trustees meeting, Chouteau Mayor Jerry Floyd approved a town-wide mosquito fogging. The service was done by a professional pest control company, once a month for three months. Chouteau agreed to pay $1,450 per month to help reduce the pests.

Pryor approved a mosquito treatment, which must be scheduled around rain.