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West Nile present in county


Grant County Mosquito Control District 1 has reported a mosquito sample collected west of Moses Lake has tested positive for West Nile virus, making it the first detection of the virus in the county this season.

Mosquito District 1 covers the Greater Moses Lake area, including the Moses Lake Sand Dunes and Potholes areas.

The positive sample is an indication that WNV is present in this area and potentially other areas of Grant County.

During the 2015 season, four humans, seven horses and 107 mosquito samples were found to be infected with WNV, making it the most active season since WNV was found in the area nearly a decade before.

There are no reports of human or other animal cases so far this year, officials noted.

“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 of the Grant County Health District.

The risk is low, but anyone can be infected. People over 50 years old have the highest risk of serious illness. Most people who are infected with WNV will not get sick. About one in five people infected will have mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. Even fewer, about one in 150 people infected, will have more severe symptoms, health officials stated.

Some tips on how to avoid mosquitoes include staying indoors at dawn and dusk when they are most active; wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, and a hat when going into mosquito areas; use a repellent; make sure that windows are bug tight; eliminate mosquito breeding areas around your property; and make sure that water in bird feeders is changed frequently.

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