The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its weekly update on West Nile virus activity on Tuesday and the Oklahoma State Department of Health updated its West Nile virus information today. The number of cases both statewide and nationwide continue to increase, although more slowly than in the most recent preceding two weeks.
Oklahoma is one of six states to hold the distinction of being responsible for reporting 70 percent of all West Nile virus human infections nationwide, along with Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Michigan and South Dakota.
Latest Oklahoma West Nile Virus Numbers
OSDH reports that during the time span of 2002 through 2011, a total of 327 human cases of West Nile virus were reported. In 2012, 123 human cases of the disease have thus far been reported, with the potential for more because Oklahoma's most active season for WNV continues through October.
The number of deaths attributable to the virus totaled 21 in the period extending from 2002 through 2011. Seven deaths have occurred from the viral infection in 2012, making the state's death rate from this mosquito-borne infection 5.7 percent among those acquire the illness.
Oklahoma West Nile Virus Infection By County
Oklahoma and Tulsa counties have reported the greatest number of cases of West Nile virus, with 20 or more cases in each of these counties. Pittsburg and Carter counties have each reported between 10 to 19 cases of WNV each. Fifty-four of the state's 77 counties have been free of WNV infections through Sept. 4.
Oklahoma and Tulsa counties have experienced the highest numbers of the more severe form of West Nile virus, the neuroinvasive form at 24 and 21, respectively. The seven deaths that have resulted from the disease have occurred in four counties: Carter (2), Oklahoma (2), Seminole (1) and Tulsa (2).
Oklahoma West Nile Virus Infection Rate by County
The rate of infection per county, measured as rate per 100,000 residents, is greatest in Alfalfa, Carter, Grant and Pittsburg counties. The rate for each of these counties is 10 or more people per 100,000 residents being affected by West Nile virus.
Oklahoma West Nile Virus Infection by Age Ranges
Of the 123 WNV cases reported in the state, 34 of them occurred in people ages 10 to 49; the remaining 89 cases were in people ages 50 to 99.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.
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- West Nile virus