ONTARIO — A human case of West Nile virus, a flu-like disease, spread by mosquitoes, has been detected in Malheur County, according to a news release from Oregon Public Health Officials.
This is the first person to test positive for the disease in Oregon this year, the release reads.
Malheur County residents are being advised to take precautions against mosquitoes, and to prevent mosquito bites that transmit the disease from infected mosquitoes.
It is not clear where the person may have been infected, since pools of mosquitoes throughout the county have tested positive for West Nile, said Rebecca Stricker, nurse supervisor with the county Health Department, in an email.
“Regardless of where, everyone needs to prevent further bites,” she wrote.
Only about one in five people who are infected will show signs of West Virus, with people 50 years and older being the most vulnerable to the disease, as well as people with immune-compromising conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, according to state Health Officials.
“West Nile symptoms may include fever above 100 degrees and severe headache, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, shaking, paralysis or rash,” the release reads, adding the incubation period is usually two to 14 days.
“It’s very easy for people to prevent bites from mosquitoes that may carry West Nile virus,” said Dr. Emiolio DeBess veterinarian at the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division, said in a statement.
Preventions include eliminating sources of standing water, using mosquito repellents containing Deet, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picaridin, wearing long-sleeved shirts or long pants in mosquito-infested areas and keeping screen doors and windows in good repair.