Serving Franklin County, WA

West Nile Virus case reported

KENNEWICK — The Benton-Franklin Health District is reporting a positive local case for West Nile Virus, the first case reported in the state this year.

“Most cases of West Nile virus are mild,” Health Officer Dr. Amy Person said. “However, serious illness and death are also possible. That is why we urge people to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and to contact their health care provider if they develop symptoms.”

Person said the case is not in a person, but did not identify the source of the positive case.

According to Person, only about one in five people who are infected with the virus develop a fever and other symptoms such as a

headache or body aches.

However, West Nile virus infection can be very serious, resulting in encephalitis, meningitis or other complications in about one out of 150

cases. In some cases, it can be fatal, she said.


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