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West Nile-carrying mosquitoes found in Northern Oklahoma

A female <em>Aedes aegypti</em> mosquito feeds on human skin.
James Gathany/CDC
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito feeds on human skin.

The Oklahoma State Health Department’s mosquito surveillance program has identified mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus in Kay and Payne counties, according to reports from local news outlets.

At least nine counties in Oklahoma have identified West Nile in mosquito populations this year.Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show most of those in the southern part of the state, but local reports from theStillwater News Press andKay News Cow indicate virus-carrying mosquitoes are also farther north.

West Nile seasonusually runs from May through November, peaking right around now. The CDC hasn’t reported any human infections in Oklahoma yet.

Last year,the state recorded four cases where people contracted West Nile but found evidence of more in blood donor pools.

The State Department of Healthrecommends wearing insect repellants when you’re outside and draining standing water, which mosquitoes use to breed.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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