Serving Franklin County, WA

Encephalitis case confirmed in Franklin County

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.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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