On Tuesday, health officials announced two Oregonians have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. It’s affecting one person in Coos County, and one person in Malheur County.
Both individuals – a man and a woman, both 50 or older – are recovering. Until this week, the virus had been found only in animals in Oregon, including a horse in Klamath County; a mosquito pool in Jackson County; two mosquito pools in Morrow County; and 55 mosquito pools plus a bird in Malheur County.
A mosquito pool is a sample of up to 50 female mosquitoes of the same species collected at one site. Most West Nile infections are mild, with fever and flu-like symptoms and they only show up in about 20% of people who get infected, but severe infections may cause encephalitis and, rarely, death.
This is considered the peak of the season, but health officials suggest eliminating standing water which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.