Encephalitis case confirmed in Franklin County
Last updated 11/1/2023 at 4:24pm
PASCO — Local health officials have confirmed a rare St. Louis encephalitis case in Franklin County.
According to the Benton County Health District, a county resident is believed to have contracted the mosquito-borne disease over the summer when the insects are prevalent.
Officials did not identify the resident, nor their hometown, only that they are from Franklin County.
St. Louis encephalitis is rare in Washington state and typically transmitted by mosquitos, officials said, noting the last confirmed case here was in 2009, officials said. That case was related to out-of-area travel.
The last time the disease was contracted locally was in 1972, officials said.
Health officials believe the current public risk is low, because cool weather has curtailed mosquito activity in the county.
Those infected with St. Louis encephalitis may experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness, officials said. In rare cases, the disease may cause meningitis.