West Nile Virus Confirmed in Benton County

A Richland man has been confirmed as having West Nile virus.  The exposure likely occurred in Benton County and is the fourth human case of West Nile virus in Washington State this year.

So far this year, a Walla Walla man was infected likely near his home.  Two other cases, a King County man and a woman from Grays Harbor, were infected in separate incidents while traveling out of state.

West Nile virus is a bird illness that can spread to people and other animals through mosquito bites.  So far this year, mosquitoes with the virus have been found in Benton, Franklin, Grant and Walla Walla counties.  An unvaccinated horse tested positive for the virus earlier this month in Franklin County.

The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites by dressing with long sleeves, pants and a hat when mosquitoes are present.  Wear and approved insect repellant (DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of eucalyptus).

Also, drain sources of standing water around your home and make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.

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