Serving Franklin County, WA

West Nile virus spreads to Benton County

PASCO — The West Nile virus is spreading in the area.

According to the Benton Franklin Health Department, mosquitos in Benton County have now tested positive for the virus. Previously, Franklin and Walla Walla Counties had reports of the virus.

So far this year, no human cases have been identified locally.

With poor air quality, mosquito control officials are unable to spray, official said. Mosquito spraying may resume after the air quality improves.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, body aches and more. The virus can cause encephalitis and meningitis.

The virus is found in birds, horses and other animals, but can be spread to humans through mosquito bites.

There is a vaccine for horses, but not humans.

Health officials advise residents reduce the risk of the virus by:

▪ Draining standing water found in containers, tires, buckets and other small sources of

stagnant water.

▪ If possible, stay indoors from dusk to dawn.

▪ If going outside, use an insect repellent. Wear long sleeves, pants and a hat when mosquitoes are present.


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