West Nile virus found in mosquitoes near Talent

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found at a testing site in Talent, according to the Jackson County Health Department.

A test by the veterinary diagnostic laboratory at Oregon State University confirmed the virus was present in the mosquitoes, said Belle Shepherd, the county's public health division manager.

Spread by mosquitoes, the West Nile virus causes a mild flu-like disease in most people, but can have much more severe consequences to elderly, officials said.

As a result of the discovery of the presence of the virus, Jackson County Vector Control will concentrate its mosquito abatement in the Talent area along Bear Creek, she said. The infected bugs were recently found in that area.

Although mosquitoes have been found carrying the virus in recent years, West Nile virus hasn't been found in a human in Jackson County since 2005, she said.

But Shepherd urges local residents to take precautions to avoid the risk of infection.

For more information about the virus, check out public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/DiseasesAZ/WestNileVirus/Pages/survey.aspx.

— Paul Fattig

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