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West Nile-carrying mosquitoes found in Northern Oklahoma

This close-up view of a Culex tarsalis mosquito resting on human skin, shows the dark-scaled proboscis which has a broad median white band. Other identifying characteristics include white scales around the joints of its tarsi, a line of white scales along the tibia and femur, and two silver dots on its scutum. The epidemiologic importance of C. tarsalis lies in its ability to spread Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE), St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), and California Encephalitis, and is currently the main vector of West Nile virus in the Western United States. Date: 2005 Content credits: / xxxxx Photo credit: James Gathany Image storage: xxxxxxxxxxxxx Support File: CD_120_DH/ 005 URL: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/ URL Title: CDC – – West Nile Virus
James Gathany
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
The Oklahoma State Department of Health monitors mosquito populations across the state for West Nile.

The Oklahoma State Health Department’s mosquito surveillance program has identified mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus in Kay and Payne counties, according to reports from local news outlets.

At least nine counties in Oklahoma have identified West Nile in mosquito populations this year. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show most of those in the southern part of the state, but local reports from the Stillwater News Press and Kay News Cow indicate virus-carrying mosquitoes are also farther north.

West Nile season usually runs from May through November, peaking right around now. The CDC hasn’t reported any human infections in Oklahoma yet.

Last year, the state recorded four cases where people contracted West Nile but found evidence of more in blood donor pools.

The State Department of Health recommends wearing insect repellants when you’re outside and draining standing water, which mosquitoes use to breed.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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