West Nile a concern in southern Oklahoma

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CARTER COUNTY, Okla. -- Health officials are urging people to be on the lookout for mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry.

Health experts say West Nile is a major concern in Carter County. Several cases were reported last year, one of which was fatal.

Health department officials say a common misconception about West Nile is that mosquitoes that carry the disease are prevalent only during heavy rain fall and floods.

They say that's not the case. The chances of outbreak actually occur in late July through August when the rains stop after the mosquitoes that breed in the pools of stagnant water have hatched and matured.

"State-wide, we had 48 cases of West Nile. Carter County was a hot spot. We had seven confirmed cases, and with one fatality, it’s a serious thing, and it’s in our region," said Joe Treanor of the Carter County Health Department.

Officials say people over the age of 50 are more susceptible to the virus.

Health officials recommend emptying containers with standing water and wearing repellent with deet during the early morning and evening hours.

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