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West Nile virus found in mosquitoes in Walla Walla County

West Nile virus has been found in Washington state for the first time this year.

Mosquitoes in Walla Walla County are showing up with the virus, which can spread to humans.

State Health Department doctor on why mosquitoes really like to bite you

Last year, two people in Washington state contracted West Nile infections. Most people don’t need medical treatment, but some develop a fever or other symptoms. For a small number of people, infection with West Nile virus can lead to permanent neurological effects or death. People over the age of 60 and those with certain medical conditions are most at risk of severe disease.

The state Department of Health reminds residents to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate standing water where mosquitoes may breed.

To protect yourself against mosquito bites: use an effective, EPA-registered insect repellant; wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors; limit time outside from dusk to dawn when mosquitos are most active; mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors; and eliminate mosquito breeding areas by disposing of standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.

Learn more about precautions here, and about the risks of mosquito-borne disease at your travel destination here.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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