PORTLAND, Ore. — Health officials say two cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed among humans in Oregon, in Coos and Malheur counties. Both people are recovering.
Mosquitoes carry the virus. It was first reported in the United State in 1999.
Most infections are mild, but Oregon health officials say the virus can cause severe symptoms such as encephalitis. It is rarely fatal.
Nationally, health officials said last week that this year's outbreak is one of the largest. Mosquito populations have had favorable weather — a mild winter, early spring and hot summer.
"Having tracked West Nile cases for many years now, we know that the number of cases typically peaks by Labor Day weekend," said Emilio DeBess, an Oregon Health Authority veterinarian.
"There are simple things people can do to protect themselves."
Oregon authorities recommend steps to ward off mosquitoes like eliminating standing water, wearing long sleeves and pants in infested areas, making sure screen doors and windows fit tightly and using repellents at dawn and dusk.
Learn more about the West Nile virus: