Mosquitoes in Kennewick, Richland test positive for West Nile virus

West Nile virus detected in Kennewick and Richland

BENTON CO., Wash. — The Benton-Franklin Health District confirmed Tuesday that mosquitos in Kennewick and Richland have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The West Nile virus has also been detected in Walla Walla County and Franklin County this year.

RELATED: West Nile virus detected in Walla Walla County mosquitoes

The Benton-Franklin Health District says there have been no reports of humans contracting the virus this year. The health district says only one in five people who are infected with the West Nile virus will develop symptoms.

The symptoms of West Nile virus are fever, headache, and body aches, according to the health district.

The West Nile virus can be fatal, according to officials. People with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system are at greater risk for serious illness.

RELATED: Mosquito control in Benton County gets an upgrade

The Benton County Mosquito Control Officials have not been able to spray mosquitocide in recent days due to the poor air quality.

The Benton-Franklin Health District provided safety tips to prevent the West Nile virus from spreading.

Safety steps include:

  • Drain sources of standing water around your home each week so mosquitoes don’t grow. The mosquitoes most likely to spread West Nile virus prefer to breed in water found in containers, tires, buckets, and other small sources of stagnant water.

  • If possible, stay indoors during prime mosquito biting times: dusk and dawn.

  • If going outside, use an EPA-approved insect repellent. Approved mosquito repellents have ingredients that include DEET, picaridin, PMD, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Be sure to read and follow the label directions

  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Windows and doors without screens should be kept shut, especially at night.

  • Dress with long sleeves, pants, and a hat when mosquitoes are present.