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Lane County Man Contracts West Nile

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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.

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  1. Dave says:

    This story is misleading just like previous ones about West Nile. The fact is that for every person like this poor patient who ends up in intensive care in Lane County, there are approx. 150 people who have contracted West Nile from a mosquito bite in Lane County, not 1.

    Most have no idea that they have the West Nile virus because they have no symptoms at all or very mild symptoms such as the rash I contracted after being bit & infected at the coast. The advice to try not to be bit is laudable, however it is the mosquito who will ultimately decide whether or not you will be bitten, not you (unless you stay locked indoors all day long in fear).

    And when you are bitten by the bug that gives you West Nile, it is merely chance that will decide whether you never know it at all or end up in the hospital fighting for your life. These are the facts that the story neglected to mention. The devil is in the details.

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