Medford mosquitoes found with West Nile virus
Mosquitoes in a third Jackson County location have tested positive for the West Nile virus this summer.
The Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory detected the virus in a sample of mosquitoes collected north of Medford Aug. 31, according to a news release issued by the Jackson County Vector Control District Wednesday.
Officials found the virus Aug. 4 west of White City, and Aug. 11 southwest of Eagle Point.
The virus was previously found in Jackson County mosquitoes between 2005 and 2008, between 2012 and 2015, and last year, according to an earlier news report.
The virus is linked to a rare, but severe and potentially fatal illness in which the virus infects a person’s brain or spinal cord, according to Jackson County Public Health.
The last time a human tested positive for the virus in Jackson County was in 2005.
About 1 in 5 people infected with the virus show signs of West Nile fever. The most at-risk are people older than 50, people with compromised immune systems and those with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Health officials recommend that anyone who experiences a fever above 100 degrees paired with symptoms that include severe headache, confusion, muscle weakness, paralysis and rash contact a health care provider.
Vector Control recommends removing sources of standing water around homes where mosquitoes can breed, using insect repellents containing DEET, lemon or eucalyptus oils, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants where mosquitoes are active, and ensuring screen doors and windows are in good condition.