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.