The Oklahoma City-County Health Department experts confirm five positive mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus in Oklahoma County.
Residents need to take extra precautions against the mosquito-borne illness by avoiding mosquito bites and reducing habitats where mosquitoes live and breed.
“Getting rid of any sources of stagnant water will certainly help,” says OCCHD Public Health Protection Director Phil Maytubby.
Basics to reduce mosquito habitats: Empty buckets, chimeneas, flower pots, wheelbarrows and old tires from holding standing water. Empty and refill birdbaths and your pet’s outdoor water bowl daily.
For standing water sources that cannot be drained, OCCHD recommends microbial larvicides commonly called “dunks” that kill mosquito larvae before they emerge as adults. They are available at hardware or home improvement stores.
Be sure to protect your home from invading mosquitos by keeping window and door screens in good repair.
All residents are urged to use the 3-Ds and a “P” of mosquito safety:
• DRAIN standing water on your property so mosquitoes won’t breed
• Use insect repellant that contains DEET on your clothes
• DRESS in long sleeves and pants and spray repellant on your clothes
• Protect — limit exposure and check window screens
West Nile symptoms include fever, headache, body ache, and sometimes a rash. The most susceptible to the illness include infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. If symptoms are severe, health officials say to contact your doctor immediately.