WEST NILE VIRUS: The Single, Biggest Way To Protect Yourself - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WEST NILE VIRUS: The Single, Biggest Way To Protect Yourself

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As we all start hitting the great outdoors with the official start of summer, remember: so do mosquitoes.  The tiny insects can carry the West Nile virus, and while it’s rare for humans to become seriously ill, the virus can be deadly – and it’s completel As we all start hitting the great outdoors with the official start of summer, remember: so do mosquitoes. The tiny insects can carry the West Nile virus, and while it’s rare for humans to become seriously ill, the virus can be deadly – and it’s completel
SPOKANE, Wash. -

As we all start hitting the great outdoors with the official start of summer, remember: so do mosquitoes. The tiny insects can carry the West Nile virus, and while it’s rare for humans to become seriously ill, the virus can be deadly – and it’s completely preventable.

Experts with the Spokane Regional Health District told KHQ’s Kelsey Watts the biggest way to protect yourself and your family is eliminating standing water outside your home.

“Small containers are what some of these mosquitoes that transmit West Nile love,” SRHD Environmental Health Specialist Steve Main said. “So something as small as a Frisbee, gutter, bird bath, even the wrinkles in a tarp provide enough water to breed many mosquitoes."

The first case of West Nile has been confirmed in Idaho, specifically in Payette County. Spokane health officials say there are still no confirmed cases – in people, horses or birds – in Washington.

Health experts say only about 1% of humans who become infected actually develop serious symptoms like confusion, high fever and movement disorders. It’s much more common for people to experience fever, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and rashes. If you have any questions about symptoms you may be experiencing, contact your doctor.

On top of reducing standing water, experts say always use insect repellant when outside, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

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