Warning issued after West Nile virus detected in Yakima County mosquitos

Jul 14, 2023, 6:22 PM | Updated: 6:46 pm

west nile virus...

(KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

Mosquitos are out in full force, and public health officials are warning people after detecting the West Nile virus in Yakima County near the border of Benton County.

The Yakima Health District got a report from the Benton County Mosquito Control District that it found the first positive mosquito pools in Washington this year, the district said in a news release on Wednesday.

The pools were collected from the Grandview Sewage Lagoons.

The district said eight out of 10 people infected with the virus don’t get any symptoms. About one in five people infected develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

Around one in 150 people infected get a severe illness that affects the central nervous system and results in encephalitis or meningitis. People over the age of 60 and people with conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, or kidney disease have a greater risk of getting a serious illness. The district said if you get these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

“While so far this year there have been no human or animal cases of West Nile virus in Washington, it is crucial to follow preventative measures to avoid West Nile virus,” said the Yakima Health District.

There is no vaccine to prevent the virus but people can take steps to avoid getting bitten. Those measures include:

  • Use an Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellant and follow the instructions.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside, particularly at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.
  • Use a screen on windows and doors.
  • Stop mosquitos from laying eggs in or near water by eliminating breeding sites. Breedings sites are areas of water like buckets, rain gutters, old tires, bird baths, ponds, or anywhere where water collects. Throw out or cover items that hold hot water.


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Warning issued after West Nile virus detected in Yakima County mosquitos