The first human case of West Nile virus in Washington this year was found in Benton County. The Tri-City Herald reports a woman in her 70s tested positive and was likely infected in that county. The virus is passed through a bite of a mosquito in most cases.
The virus was also detected recently in misquotes near Kettle Falls, a few weeks ago.
Most people with West Nile virus don’t become ill. West Nile virus has few or no symptoms in 80 percent of the humans it infects via mosquitoes. In the cases that symptoms occur, people experience fever, headaches, feeling tired, muscle pain, aches, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting and rash.
Less than one percent of cases of West Nile are severe and result in serious neurological diseases. Elderly people, very young people and people with weak immune systems are most susceptible.
Two people in the state died last year because of West Nile virus and 25 people in the state were diagnosed with it in 2015.
In the state this year, mosquitoes with West Nile have been found in Benton, Franklin, Adams, Grant, Stevens and Yakima counties.
If you have questions you can contact the NE Washington Tri-County Health Department and go to www.doh.wa.gov/wnv. If people think they have been exposed to the virus, please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (http://www.cdc.gov) for guidance about symptoms.
By The Independent Staff