OSU Web sites offer info on West Nile Virus

March 28, 2003

EUGENE - Experts agree that it’s just a matter of time until West Nile Virus arrives in Oregon. Since the virus is transmitted by mosquitoes to birds, animals and humans, it will be a public health concern.

Information is available, however, on the virus and the best ways to avoid it. You can find answers at the nation’s official pesticide information center, the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), which is headquartered at Oregon State University.

NPIC provides objective, science-based pesticide information to the public and can be contacted by toll-free telephone line at 800-858-7378, via the Internet http://npic.orst.edu or by e-mail (npic@ace.oregonstate.edu).

In addition, the Lane County office of the OSU Extension Service has prepared some educational information, “West Nile Virus (WNV) Mosquito Control.” The report is available on the Web at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/. Click on “West Nile Virus," located in the menu on the left.

Topics covered in Lane County’s packet include background on the disease and detailed information about various options on pest control, including:

  • Background and life cycle of WNV, including how it is spread;
  • History of WNV’s spread in the United States;
  • Symptoms and risk factors of WNV for animals and people;
  • Treatment for animals and people (there is a vaccine for horses, but none for humans);
  • Mosquito control measures;
  • How to avoid and protect yourself and your animals against exposure to WNV;
  • What to do if you find dead birds;
  • A list of links to informative websites;
  • Public health department phone numbers in Lane, Linn and Benton Counties;
  • Other sources of information.

The 10-page document, put together by OSU Extension faculty members Ross Penhallegon and Pete Schreder, is based on information from multiple agencies including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Center for Disease Control, Oregon Department of Health Services, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Cornell University and the Oregon State Veterinarian.

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Ross Penhallegon, Terry Miller