Oklahoma is in the middle of a record year for West Nile virus cases and it may not be over. Mosquitos carry the virus that has infected 144 people so far and killed eight. 2012 has been a down year for the little bloodsuckers but with moderate temperatures and rain, that may be changing. “The milder weather and more rains, that could create a situation where populations go back up” John Baker told KRMG news. Baker is the Manager of Environmental Services for the Tulsa Health Department. John is in charge of spraying for mosquitos and he says they’ll be doing that for several more weeks. “We’re anticipating keep testing and monitoring through October” he noted.
There was better news from John when it comes to their current testing. “In the last four weeks we’ve only had four pool test positive out of about 200” he began. “That’s pretty good news” he smiled as he finished.
John told us anyone is welcome to call if they think they have an issue with mosquitos. He added that once those calls come in, his guys are pretty successful at trying to help. “We have had reports in the past from citizens who have told us that once we sprayed their areas, they have seen a noticeable decline in the mosquito population.”
The number to call for extra spraying is 918-595-4219.
John warned that even though the mosquito numbers are low now, the problems with West Nile are usually delayed. “The human cases will run two to three weeks behind when the bite occurred and the symptoms come up.”
Baker says the timing of the rain isn’t great with the Tulsa State Fair beginning next week. But don’t worry, his guys are on the job. “We do have some requests to spray the barns so we’re going to help the fairgrounds out.”
One last note, Baker recommends using your mosquito repellent this year all the way until early November, just to be safe,