Mosquitos carrying West Nile virus discovered in Yakima County - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mosquitos carrying West Nile virus discovered in Yakima County

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YAKIMA, WA - West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes from Yakima County – the first confirmed detection this year. Health officials advise people to take action to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to eliminate mosquito-friendly breeding areas.

Nine people in Washington were reported with West Nile virus disease during last year’s mosquito season. The season for potential transmissions runs from now through the first freeze in the autumn, with peak activity usually July-September. Many people infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. About one in five will develop a fever or other symptoms that go away without medical treatment. Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, headache, body aches, and rash. People experiencing such symptoms should seek health care.

A few simple actions can protect against mosquito bites.

• Use an effective, EPA-registered insect repellent.

• Cover up - wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.

• Avoid mosquito prime time. Many mosquitoes bite in the evening between dusk and dawn.

• Eliminate mosquito-breeding areas around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

• Ensure that screen doors and windows fit tightly. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

• Vaccinate any horses you own or care for against West Nile Virus.

• Bug zappers, sonic devices, and mosquito traps have not been shown to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus infection.

While West Nile virus occurs across the U.S., Zika and other diseases are spread by mosquitoes not found in Washington. Before traveling, learn about the risks of mosquito-borne disease at your destination, and be prepared to prevent mosquito bites.

Access the Department of Health (doh.wa.gov) or the Yakima Health District (yakimapublichealth.org) website to learn more about the spread of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information available regarding West Nile Virus.

If you have any questions and/or concerns, call the Yakima Health District’s Environmental Health Help Desk at 509-249-6508.

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