West Nile Virus has arrived in Lawton

Two cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed on the west side of Lawton.  The Comanche County Health Department says the men found out they had the virus after they donated blood.  One of the men told health professionals that he'd been ill for a couple of days.  "They have been sick, but not hospitalized," said Karen Mahan, Health Department Administrator. Although West Nile is a very serious illness, the men will recover.

Due to all the recent flooding, standing water in our area can be found just about anywhere. Mucky waters are a perfect place for mosquitoes to flourish; it's a mosquito's paradise.

After CCHD discovered the two cases of West Nile Virus, The City of Lawton checked out the area where the men live.  It's her job to find disease carrying pests or organisms.  "I just drove around those neighborhoods and checked the catch basins to make sure there's no standing water.  And, I didn't find anything in the immediate area," said Natalie Tollett.  Tollett is the Head of the Vector Control Program for the city and she says that some mosquitoes can fly over a mile from areas with standing water.

At the intersection of Dearborn and Carver 7News found some standing water that measured about 7 inches deep and, in some areas, even deeper.  It's a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and could be right in your own backyard.  In the summertime, heat or no heat, kids like to play outside and still, stagnant water could be right near where they play that's why it's important to take precaution.  "Use DEET Mosquito repellant when you're outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk; wear long pants, long sleeves" says Mahan.  And, she says, make sure to get rid of any standing water.

August through October are the worst months for West Nile Virus.  There have already been three deaths in the state and officials worry that the recent flooding will make this year worse.  If you have standing water near your home, don't hesitate to call the city.  Call Natalie Tollett with the Vector Control Program at 580-581-3427.