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West Nile Virus detected in White City and Central Point

West Nile virus was found near White City and Central Point. [Stock photo]

The Jackson County Vector Control District is advising Southern Oregonians to protect themselves from mosquitoes and treat sources of standing water after samples from two locations last week were found to contain West Nile Virus.

Central Point and White City area samples collected Aug. 25 by the county and tested at Oregon State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory were found to contain the virus, according to a news advisory from Jackson County Vector Control.

It’s the first time this year that the virus was found in Jackson County mosquito samples, but far from the first time that local tests have turned up positive for the virus.

In August of last year, the same lab detected the virus in samples collected outside White City, Eagle Point and north of Medford, according to an earlier news report.

The virus was previously detected in Jackson County mosquitoes between 2005 and 2008, between 2012 and 2015, in 2020 and three times in 2021, according to the same news report.

Across the state, the Oregon Health Authority has recorded no human cases of West Nile Virus this year, according to the Oregon Health Authority. A Jackson County resident tested positive for the virus last year — the first time a person had contracted the illness since 2005.

The 2021 human infection in Jackson County was the first of five human cases reported in Oregon last year. Others included two infections in Malheur and one each in Baker and Klamath counties.

A horse in Jackson County was also infected last year.

Vector Control officials recommend locals take “basic precautions,” such as using insect repellents containing DEET, lemon or eucalyptus oils or Picardin, avoiding outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and eliminating or treating sources of standing water on properties. They advise people to contact their health care provider if they experience flu-like symptoms.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.