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Test confirms at least one Baker County resident had West Nile virus

A state health official said today that he received test results Monday confirming that at least one Baker County resident contracted West Nile virus this summer from a mosquito bite.
Dr. Emilio DeBess, public health veterinarian with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), said he expects that three other "presumptive" human cases of the virus will also be confirmed as West Nile once the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have tested blood samples.
Initially the OHA reported three presumptive human cases in Baker County, all of them people who live near Richland.
DeBess said the agency received a later report that a fourth resident, who lives in Halfway, had also been infected with the virus.
State officials are also awaiting test results from a Malheur County resident who is suspected of having contracted the disease.
No other Oregon counties have had any presumptive or confirmed human cases of West Nile virus. The disease has been found in mosquitoes trapped in Baker, Union, Morrow, Jackson and Klamath counties.
DeBess said it's unlikely there will be any more human cases this year, as mosquito populations dwindle.

Southern Oregon firefighter hurt on blaze in Hells Canyon

A firefighter from Southern Oregon suffered a fractured skull and other injuries Sunday evening when he was hit by a falling tree while working on the Freezeout Ridge fire in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in Idaho.

Richard "Wally" Ochoa Jr., 51, also suffered two broken arms, a broken jaw and thumb, and numerous lacerations.

He was taken by helicopter to a Boise hospital, where he is in stable condition in the intensive care unit.

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