Health officials detect West Nile Virus in another Jackson County sample

 West Nile Virus has been detected in a second Jackson County sample, public health officials reported today.

The virus was found in mosquitoes collected Aug. 12 in an area just south of White City, Jackson County Health & Human Services reported. The samples were confirmed by Oregon State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Another sample was found at the beginning of August in mosquitoes northeast of Central Point.

Jackson County's Vector Control District baits 32 adult mosquito traps with dry ice on a weekly basis in various spots throughout the county. The trapped insects are then identified by species, counted and pooled into groups of 10 to 50 before they are sent to OSU for testing.

The findings are certainly not unheard of. The virus has been detected in Jackson County during 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. The last known human case of the virus in Jackson County happened in 2005, county officials said.

Most people who are infected with the virus don't fall ill, though some may develop mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. West Nile can also cause encephalitis, or brain inflammation, though that is rare.

Health officials encouraged area residents to eliminate all sources of standing water on their property, as they can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. These sources include flooded fields, watering troughs, bird baths, wading pools, clogged gutters and unused, old tires. Water left standing for seven days can produce mosquitoes. Outdoor activities should also be avoided at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Screen doors and windows should be kept up and made sure they fit tightly to prevent the bugs from getting inside.

Additionally, residents should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when hiking or recreating near mosquito-infested areas. Products containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or picardin also make good repellants.

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