The Jackson County Health Department reports that mosquitoes caught on August 16th along Bear Creek in the south Medford area were detected with the West Nile virus. That’s the first detection of West Nile infected mosquitoes in Jackson County this year. James Lunders says that Jackson County Vector Control routinely sets mosquito traps on a weekly basis and sent to a lab in Corvallis for testing. Dead birds are also being checked. People who notice sick or dead birds should contact the vector control district so they can be picked up for testing.
Since 2005 West Nile Virus has been detected in Jackson County every year, except 2009, 2010 and 2011. To date, WNV has been reported in six Oregon counties: Malheur, Baker, Klamath, Umatilla, and Union.
The public is advised to eliminate all sources of standing water, avoid activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are active, use repellent, and wear long sleeves and long pants in mosquito-infested areas. Most people who become infested with the virus do not become sick. Some may develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally swollen lymph glands or rash. In some cases, West Nile may cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. People suffering severe or unusual headaches are encouraged to seek medical care as soon as possible.