IRRIGON — Mosquitoes collected last week in Irrigon have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to Oregon public health officials.
Residents of northern Morrow County should take steps to avoid infection from mosquito bites, such as using insect repellent, eliminating standing pools of water where mosquitoes breed and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants in mosquito-infested areas.
Greg Barron, manager of the North Morrow Vector Control District, said crews will increase efforts to control the local mosquito population using ultra-low volume truck-mounted sprayers, and possibly some aerial spraying.
“The risk of contracting West Nile virus may be low, but we do encourage people to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Barron said.
About one in five people infected with West Nile virus will actually experience symptoms, and most are very mild ranging from headache to fever and nausea. In rare cases, more severe symptoms may occur including convulsions and disorientation.
The central nervous system may also be affected by West Nile virus, resulting in a headache associated with fever, aseptic meningitis or encephalitis. People with immune problems, diabetes, high blood pressure or individuals over the age of 50 are especially at risk. Contact your doctor if you are having severe symptoms, such as high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, shaking, paralysis or rash.
For more information about West Nile virus, contact the North Morrow Vector Control District at 541-481-6082 or the Morrow County Health District at 541-676-5421.