More West Nile Virus identified in Grant County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

More West Nile Virus identified in Grant County

Posted: Updated:
GRANT COUNTY, Wash. -

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has reported that additional mosquito samples from Grant County have tested positive for West Nile virus. 

So far this season, West Nile virus has been identified in 13 mosquito samples collected primarily from the greater Moses Lake area by Grant County Mosquito Control District #1.  One of the positive samples, however, came from the Town of Wilson Creek, which is the first detection of the virus in that area since surveillance started there in 2014.  There is currently no active surveillance for the virus in other parts of Grant county, but based on data from surrounding counties, this mosquito-borne virus is likely present throughout the region.

Statewide this year, infections have been reported in 6 horses, one bird and 28 mosquito samples.   

There have not been any human or other animal cases reported in Grant County this year, however, but the detection in the mosquito population means there is a potential for the spread of the virus to humans and other vulnerable species. 

“West Nile virus has been found in Grant County for over a decade, so this is not a new problem for us.  It is still important that everyone continue taking steps to prevent mosquito bites”, said Amber McCoy, Lead Environmental Health Specialist at Grant County Health District.

Most people infected with the virus do not get sick.  About one in five will develop mild symptoms such as fever, headache/body aches and other symptoms that go away without medical treatment.  For a small number of people, West Nile virus can lead to permanent neurologic effects or death.  People over age 60 and those with certain medical conditions are most at risk of severe disease.  Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a possible West Nile virus, especially if you recently had mosquito bites.

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 and other areas with shallow, stagnant water.
  • Use mosquito repellent. Read the label and carefully follow instructions. Take special care when using repellent on children.
  • 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.

For more information about West Nile Virus, visit: WA-Department of Health

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