Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus west of Moses Lake - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus west of Moses Lake

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MOSES LAKE, Wash. -

Officials in Grant County report that a mosquito sample collected west of Moses Lake has tested positive for West Nile virus Wednesday. It's the first detection of the virus in Grant County this season. Grant County Mosquito Control District #1 says the positive sample is an indication that West Nile is present in the Moses Lake area and potentially other areas of Grant County. 

The first West Nile Virus positive mosquito was reported last month in Yakima County.

During the 2015 season, four people, seven horses and 107 mosquito samples were found to be infected with the virus, making it the most active West Nile season in Grant County since it was first detected a decade ago.

There are no reports of human or other animal cases so far in 2016, however, detection in mosquitoes means the virus has the potential to spread to humans and other vulnerable species.

“The presence of WNV in local mosquitoes is a sign that our residents and guests can be infected, therefore we all need to take steps to prevent mosquito bites,” said Amber McCoy, Environmental Health Specialist, Grant County Health District.

It is important to protect yourself by avoiding mosquitoes. Take these steps to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the places where mosquitoes breed around your home:

  • Stay indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are the most active.
  • Wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and a hat when going into mosquito-infested areas, such as wetlands or wooded areas.
  • Use mosquito repellent. Read the label and carefully follow instructions. Take special care when using repellent on children. Mosquito repellents that contain the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus work best.
  • Make sure windows and doors are “bug tight” and repair or replace screens as needed. 
  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding areas around your home by emptying or discarding anything that holds standing water—bottles, cans, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, and toys. Change water in birdbaths, fountains, kiddie pools, and animal troughs at least twice each week. Make sure roof gutters drain properly; and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall and fix leaky outdoor faucets and sprinklers.

For more information about West Nile virus in Washington State: www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/WestNileVirus 

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