West Nile Virus in Benton County - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Nile Virus in Benton County

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TRI-CITIES, Wash--  West Nile Virus is officially in Benton County.  About 80% of us that are infected with West Nile may never know we even have it.  But that remaining 20% could see signs like fever, headache, nausea, even swollen glands or rashes. 

But the virus is far more common in animals.  Say you have a horse, for example.  Because mosquitoes are known to spend their time around animals, there's a realistic possibility your horse could get ill.  And if it goes undetected, the virus could turn fatal.

"It causes sometimes low fever, it can cause facial paralysis, it can cause paralysis of the horse, so they go down and can't get up," says Marla Foreman, veteranarian.  "And it can kill them."

So what's your best defense?  For horses, there are a number of vaccines.  Consult a vet that handles large animals.  That vaccine will run you somewhere in the ballpark of $30.

For you and me-- drain standing water, wear long sleeves, pants.  And of course insect repelent; doctors recommend ones with DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.