Health Officials: Two Oregonians Recovering From West Nile Virus

Aug 28, 2012

Oregon health officials say test results are confirming that two people, on opposite sides of the state have come down with the West Nile virus. Officials aren't releasing the names of the patients, only that both are older than 50. One is a man in Coos County, the other a woman in Malheur County. Both are recovering.

West Nile is spread by mosquitos. Most people who get the disease develop fever, headaches and nausea lasting three to six days.

On rare occasions, however, the virus can infect a patient's central nervous system, causing the brain to swell. That can cause permanent neurological damage and can even result in death.

Dr. Emilio DeBess is the State Public Health Veterinarian.

DeBess: "We now have both sides of the state affected and mosquito pools throughout the state as well. So we are just reminding people to take precautions by protecting themselves against mosquito bites."

Health officials advise wearing long sleeves and pants when mosquitos are around, and using repellent. Any standing water in containers outside should be dumped out.

Around the country, this year is shaping up to be one of the worst on record since the virus first turned up here in 1999.

Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting