SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — It’s late in the year, but Lane County has just confirmed its first case of West Nile Virus.
The patient is hospitalized at Sacred Heart RiverBend with a brain infection, which is a very rare case that afflicts less than one percent of infected people. Lane County Public Health says he may have contracted the disease in eastern Oregon, which is where most of the mosquito pools tested positive for the virus. Malheur County has had nine confirmed cases of the illness. There are also cases in Linn and Harney counties.
Dr. Patrick Luedtke with Lane County Public Health says that these cases typically happen toward the end of summer.
“In Oregon, we had a long summer and, consequently, we’ve had mosquitoes biting throughout the year, which is why we’ve had quite a few cases,” says Luedtke. “Twelve is a fairly good number for our state.”
The good news is that the risk is decreasing day by day, but residents should still take measures to protect themselves. These are nighttime-biting mosquitoes, so they’re active from dusk to dawn. During those hours, people should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use mosquito repellents.