West Nile virus found in Yakima County mosquito - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Nile virus found in Yakima County mosquito

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UNION GAP, Wash.-- A mosquito sample in Yakima County shows the first positive result for West Nile virus in Washington State this year.

This test result shows the virus is present in the state, but that isn't uncommon.

The results came from mosquitoes. No cases of West Nile virus have been reported in humans yet.

Still, the Yakima Health District wants people to protect themselves.

Testing for the virus began in 2002. 2009 was the worst year. 21 human cases were reported in Yakima County, 1 person died.

Health officials say they know the virus is not uncommon, so prevention is key.

"The focus of West Nile virus now is prevention, and preventing humans from being exposed to mosquito's," said Marianne Patnode of the Yakima Health District.

Patnode says people should always be aware of standing water because it attracts mosquitoes. Also, they tend to be out mostly in the morning and evening hours.

But bug repellant plays a big role. The Washington Department of Health suggests you wear long pants, shirts with sleeves, and bug spray.

Aerial mosquito spraying also helps, it's something that is common in Benton County.

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