West Nile virus detected in Walla Walla County mosquitoes

Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Officials from the Washington Department of Health (DOH) announced that the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes located in Burbank. They say that this is the first confirmed detection in Washington state this year.

According to a DOH alert, Walla Walla County residents must be especially cautious about avoiding mosquito bites. Additionally, standing water needs to be eliminated as that’s one hotspot where mosquitoes are known to breed.

Mosquitos infected with the West Nile virus are capable of spreading the virus to humans. Last year, two people in Washington state were reportedly infected. Though most people do not get sick after being infected with the virus, others develop serious medical issues.

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DOH officials say that about one in five people who get infected with the West Nile virus develop a fever and other symptoms that should clear up with medical treatment. However, certain people who become infected may develop permanent neurological effects, or in severe cases, death. People over the age of 60 and/or those with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of serious illness.

The following precautions have been provided by the DOH to help people in Walla Walla County and beyond to avoid the West Nile virus:

  • Use an effective, EPA-registered insect repellent.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
  • Limit time outside from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitos outside.
  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding areas by disposing of standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.

You can learn more about the risk of mosquito-borne disease at your travel destination by clicking here.

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