The Woodward News

Local News

September 3, 2013

Prevention is key when it comes to West Nile

Woodward, Okla. — Most people who contract West Nile Virus show no symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic's online symptom search.

The few who do, usually have a mild form of the virus, which causes flu like symptoms and occasionally a rash, swollen lymph glands and eye pain, According to the Mayo Clinic's literature on the subject.

However, in other cases, those infected can develop encephalitis or swelling of the brain, which can be serious and even deadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The trick is, to avoid the disease in the first place, says Oklahoma University Entomologist,  Dr. Justin Talley.

"If you are going to be out during dusk and dawn, you need to put some kind of repellent on you. I recommend Deet," Talley said.

Talley has been involved with the study of mosquitos and other insects and has spent some of his research in South America, where mosquitoes carry the deadly Yellow Fever.

"When I was in South America, I made sure I was wearing Deet," he said.

While there are some people who refuse to use the chemical Deet on themselves, Talley said the risks associated with contracting one of the many serious mosquito borne illnesses is far more risky than applying Deet.

"There are some natural compounds, such as Citronella and Geranium Oil," Talley says. "Those are okay, but don't work as well as Deet."

Mosquitos, especially the sneaky and not as noticeable Culex mosquito, can take a blood meal from a host and many times not even be noticed, he said.

"This mosquito primarily takes its blood meals from birds and birds are the reservoir for West Nile Virus," Talley said. "This mosquito is not like the large ones you see and notice when they bite you."

For that reason, health department officials are ramping up their warnings. They want to remind the public, who is more than likely going to spend their time outside over the last official summer holiday, to take mosquitos seriously.

In a pre-holiday email, county health departments reminded grillers, campers and anyone spending time outside over the weekend to plan on applying insect repellent and even wearing more substantial outerwear during the hours of dusk and dawn.

1. Dusk to dawn – Mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are most active during these hours, so if you must go outside always take precautions.

2. Dress – Wear long sleeves with cuffs and long pants wherever mosquitoes are likely to be biting. Tuck your pants into your socks.

3. Deet – Use an insect repellant containing Deet on any exposed skin.

4. Drainage – Check regularly around your home for any water accumulation that could provide mosquito breeding grounds. For pools, hot tubs or water features, Health departments recommend that residents “cover, drain or maintain” these water sources to eliminate mosquito habitats.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Easter services

    A roundup of Easter programs being held by local churches.

    April 17, 2014

  • Western Plains recognized as Certified Healthy Business

    Western Plains Youth and Family Services in Woodward is one of the organizations selected by the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program as a Certified Healthy Business.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sod House Museum hosting program

    Dr. Eric J. Schmaltz, associate history professor at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, will be at the Sod House Museum Saturday, April 26 to present an overview and presentation on “Germans from Russia in South America: New Research Frontiers."

    April 17, 2014

  • Schedule of events for Beaver Cow Chip celebration

    Annual celebration underway in Beaver.

    April 17, 2014

  • Senior Spelling Bee coming up

    The OEDA Area Agency on Aging is inviting citizens to participate in the 2014 Senior Spelling Bee.

    April 17, 2014

  • Board hears updates

    Woodward School Board members honored a group of Woodward FFA students for their service to the community during the board's monthly meeting Monday night.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red Cross sets open house Thursday

    Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross is holding an open house at its Woodward office, 1209 9th St.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission hears communications presentation

    Woodward County Commissioners heard an informative report from Pioneer Telephone Special Projects and Engineering Manager JR Ools regarding new and emerging communications technologies being made available in the region.

    April 15, 2014

  • Extension Service important to state

    Recia Garcia remembers.
    She remembers how the lives of those she met through 4-H and through her work as a 30-year veteran with the OSU Extension Service changed her in ways she still sees today.

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislation targeting Okla. judiciary stirs debate

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — For the first time since a bribery scandal rocked Oklahoma's Supreme Court 50 years ago, state lawmakers are considering tinkering with the way Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges are selected.

    April 13, 2014