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Officials warn of West Nile virus detected in Jackson County mosquitoes

Jackson County Vector Control said that West Nile was found in samples collected west of White City last week.

Posted: Aug 10, 2021 9:28 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Officials at the Jackson County Vector Control District say that the West Nile virus was recently detected within mosquitoes collected west of White City.

West Nile is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While most infected people will show little or no symptoms, rare cases can result in a severe or deadly neuro-invasive disease. About 1 in 5 infected people may show signs of West Nile fever.

The discovery of West Nile in Jackson County is relatively common, and similar discoveries occurred in nine of the last 20 years. The last known human case of West Nile virus in Jackson County was in 2005.

Vector Control staff collected the samples in question west of White City on August 4. The Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Corvallis confirmed the positive mosquito pools.

According to Vector Control manager Geoff Taylor, the district routinely sets 48 dry ice baited mosquito traps throughout Jackson County. The mosquitoes caught are then identified by species, counted, and pooled into groups before being sent to the lab in Corvallis. The district has tested 203 pools since June of this year, looking for West Nile virus, Saint Louis Encephalitis, and Western Equine Encephalitis.

Now officials are looking for evidence of dead birds that may have been infected with West Nile.

“People that notice sick or dead birds such as crows, ravens, jays or robins should contact the vector control district at 541-826-2199 so that they can be picked up for testing,” Taylor said.

In humans, the incubation period for West Nile is usually two to 14 days. People at risk of the virus are those over 50 years of age, the immunocompromised, and people with diabetes and high blood pressure. Symptoms include a fever above 100 degrees and severe headache, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, shaking, paralysis, or rash.

“Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not become sick. Some may develop mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally swollen lymph glands or rash. In some cases, West Nile may cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain,” said Jackson Baures, Jackson County Public Health Division Manager. “Individuals with severe or unusual headaches should seek medical care as soon as possible.”

“With extended heat waves throughout Jackson County, we encourage people to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Taylor. He offered the following suggestions to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water that can be a breeding ground for biting mosquitoes, such as flooded fields, watering troughs, birdbaths, wading pools, clogged gutters and old tires. If it holds water for 7 days, it can produce mosquitoes.
  • Stock water troughs, unused swimming pools and ornamental ponds with mosquito fish, available free at the District Office.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in mosquito infested areas.
  • Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535 or Picaridin, making sure to follow the directions on the container.
  • Make sure all screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 392197

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60432839
Washington42082398
Marion39986507
Clackamas32861382
Lane30179358
Jackson24956361
Deschutes23639185
Umatilla15135182
Linn14704179
Douglas13438292
Josephine10201246
Yamhill9787143
Klamath9072147
Polk8248102
Benton611138
Malheur592790
Coos5693107
Columbia433356
Jefferson420866
Lincoln363852
Union339255
Crook336356
Wasco317046
Clatsop262735
Baker220833
Tillamook217045
Hood River214537
Morrow197825
Curry192439
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105616
Wallowa76013
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5087907

Reported Deaths: 74561
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152858627184
San Diego4074794340
Riverside3880835358
San Bernardino3748555967
Orange3346265736
Sacramento1684922447
Kern1578751804
Fresno1568972259
Santa Clara1522681929
Alameda1252361507
San Joaquin1076041834
Ventura1040841191
Contra Costa1038691046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare861371099
San Francisco56931672
San Mateo56354629
Monterey52521626
Solano47693358
Santa Barbara47345553
Merced45086668
Sonoma43207412
Placer42204470
Imperial38516773
Kings35221362
San Luis Obispo31511360
Madera26233311
Shasta26113458
Butte25476318
Santa Cruz22268224
Yolo21590260
Marin18495249
El Dorado18325166
Sutter14577186
Napa13424105
Yuba1076389
Tehama10282130
Humboldt10183119
Nevada10029105
Mendocino857799
Lassen797656
San Benito782979
Tuolumne774691
Lake7046110
Amador578366
Siskiyou475855
Glenn457436
Calaveras442288
Del Norte376942
Colusa325921
Inyo256746
Plumas19397
Mono18924
Mariposa160718
Trinity99817
Modoc7725
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