Mosquitos in Hermiston, OR Test Positive for West Nile Virus - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mosquitos in Hermiston, OR Test Positive for West Nile Virus

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  There have already been five cases of West Nile Virus in Washington State.   Now, some mosquitoes close to the Oregon-Washington border, in Hermiston, Oregon, have tested positive for the virus.

Scientists there catch mosquitoes and test them for the antibody for West Nile Virus.  The mosquitoes in Umatilla County tested positive for that antibody in field tests. 

West Nile was first discovered in New York in 1999.  It's a virus that can infect humans, horses, and birds.   Dr. Ann Thomas, Public Health Physician for the Oregon Department of Human Services, says, "The way you get it is from mosquitoes.  You don't get it from the birds.   You can't get it from another person who has the West Nile Virus. So, they key thing is to avoid mosquitoes."

Dr. Thomas says the best way to avoid them is to stay inside during dawn and dusk, when the most mosquitoes are out.   She recommends wearing pants and long sleeved shirts, in addition to insect repellent.  Check your doors and windows to make sure there's no way mosquitoes can get in. Also, try to reduce the amount of standing water around your house , because standing water attracts mosquitoes.