Serving Franklin County, WA

West Nile virus detected in mosquitos

PASCO — Benton Franklin Health District officials have issued a warning for the West Nile virus after detecting it in the Richland area.

A mosquito in Richland tested positive for the virus July 21, officials said. More than a week prior, multiple mosquitos tested positive for the virus in the Grandview area of Yakima County.

Those are the first instances of West Nile being detected in the state this year, officials said, noting no cases have been reported in people or animals, so far, this year.

The virus has not been detected in Franklin or Adams counties.

Health officials recommend the following actions to help reduce the chance of spreading the virus:

• Drain sources of standing water so mosquitoes do not 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.

• Stay indoors during prime mosquito-biting times, dusk and dawn.

• When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, PMD, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

• Keep windows and doors without screens closed, especially at night.

• Wear long-sleeve shirts, pants and a hat if mosquitoes are present.


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