The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is adding Oregon to a list of 42 other states with confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus. The nationwide epidemic has claimed at least 66 lives -- a number that's expected to grow.
As of Tuesday, the CDC had recorded nearly 1,600 cases of West Nile around the country.
Dr. Lyle Petersen is Director of the CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. He says since the virus is transmitted by mosquitos, people everywhere should take precautions to protect themselves.
So far, the Pacific Northwest has had far fewer cases than in other parts of the country.
Oregon has had just two and both patients are said to be recovering.
But Peterson says just because states like Oregon have lower rates of transmission.
He explained, "That doesn't mean that there's no risk. There is a risk almost everywhere in the U.S., so I think it's prudent to follow the precautions no matter where you are."
The CDC is urging people use bug spray, keep screen doors and windows in working order, and eliminate sources of standing water where mosquitoes tend to breed.