World & Peoples

West Nile Virus: Disease is on record pace in Oklahoma

Two Bibb County women have tested positive for West Nile virus , according to the North Central Health District of the state's public health department.

The women, who are 80 and 88, are the second and third cases of West Nile in Bibb County this year.

On Sept. 24, an 85-year-old Bibb County woman was identified as the county's first case. That woman, whose name was not released, was treated at an area hospital and sent home.
West Nile Virus: Disease is on record pace in OklahomaThe three women are the first human cases of West Nile in the region since 2005, according to Jennifer Jones, a spokeswoman for the North Central Health District, which includes 13 Middle Georgia counties.

"Our district has seen three cases of West Nile in humans this season and the state of Georgia has reported 36 cases," said district health director Dr. Joseph Swartwout in a news release. "We hope that residents of Middle Georgia will take preventative steps against mosquito bites. That is the best way to prevent the disease."

The virus, which may appear first as flu-like symptoms, typically is spread to humans from mosquitoes. Although most people are not affected, some will notice headaches, fever, nausea or vomiting. And a smaller number of people may develop a serious illness, such as swelling of the brain or tissues surrounding the spinal cord.

Preventative measures for contracting the virus largely include getting rid of standing water that makes for enticing mosquito breeding grounds.

So far this year, there have been more than 2,300 cases of West Nile nationwide.

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