Mosquito From Kay County Tests Positive for West Nile Virus
Ponca City Now - August 8, 2023 10:58 am
The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s mosquito surveillance
program has detected West Nile Virus (WNV) activity in Kay
County. The mosquito surveillance program, which occurs across
multiple counties in Oklahoma, traps mosquitoes and tests them weekly
for the presence of WNV. Mosquitoes transmit WNV, and a positive
mosquito pool means there is an enhanced risk of WNV exposure to
people in this area. Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to protect
yourself from WNV infection. West Nile Virus symptoms are commonly
mild, with signs of fever and headache. However, 1 in 150 humans do
develop more severe symptoms, including meningitis or encephalitis
that can lead to death.
There are activities city officials can take to decrease mosquito
abundance and minimize the population’s exposure to mosquito bites.
Consider promoting the following action steps to decrease community-
wide mosquito exposure.
Tips to help citizens avoid mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito breeding
grounds around their homes are:
• Use EPA-approved insect repellent, such as DEET, when outdoors.
• Eliminate areas of standing water inside and outside your home.
Standing water is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Examples of
objects that collect enough water for mosquitoes to lay eggs and
hatch are toys, wheelbarrows, tire swings, flower pots, buckets,
birdbaths, outdoor pet water bowls, trash cans and bottle caps.
• Keep mosquitoes outside by maintaining window screens.
• Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most
• Wear long sleeves and long pants to shield skin from mosquitoes.
The community-wide inspection to identify and eliminate areas of stagnant water that serve
as mosquito breeding grounds include:
• Inspect tire shops and educate operators on the importance of preventing water from being trapped in tires
stored outside. Water trapped inside tires should be dumped weekly or treated with larvicide.
• Abandoned swimming pools are sources for mosquito reproduction and are candidates for larvicide treatment.
• Repair areas where water collects and does not drain. Examples include broken water lines, loading docks,
blocked storm drains, culverts and potholes.
• Treat persistent areas of stagnant water with larvicide.
• Conduct city-wide campaigns to eliminate debris that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds.
For additional information call the Kay County Health Department at 580-762-1641 or the Oklahoma State Department of Health online at Oklahoma.gov/Health.