Two Possible Human Cases of West Nile Virus in WA State
Two new probable cases of West Nile Virus and this time it's two people. The Benton-Franklin Health District says the victims may have been infected in the area between Grandview and Prosser.
What we know is a Yakima County woman in her 50s has symptoms of fever and headache. The other case is a King County man in his 30s.
He is believed to have been infected while travelling in Yakima and Benton counties. He has since developed meningitis, a more serious symptom of West Nile Virus.
The health district says it could take several weeks before they can determine if both have the virus. Only one percent of people infected will have severe symptoms.
Symptoms usually appear 2 to 15 days after a mosquito bite. They can last several weeks and could cause permanent brain damage or even death.
"The Mid Columbia has had positive horses, mosquitoes, positive birds, and if these individuals do go ahead and confirm positive for West Nile Virus than that means humans are certainly at risk of being exposed," said Heather Hill, Public Health Nurse.
Experts advise trying to avoid being outside between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be around.
Wear long sleeve shirts and repelent with deet if you are going to be in a wooded area or near a pond.