According to a press release from Grant County Mosquito Control District 1, two samples collected near Moses Lake have tested positive for West Nile virus.

The statement said that one of the samples was taken in the Gloyd Seeps area, the other just east of Moses Lake. No cases of West Nile have been reported in humans in Grant County thus far. The previous reporting of the virus in the county came in 2021.

Earlier this year, West Nile was discovered in both Benton and Yakima counties, though there have been no reports of human or animal cases reported in those counties, nor anywhere in Washington State so far this year. Of course, though, detection of the virus means the potential for infection is present.

That being said, there are several precautions one can take in order to lessen the chance that you'll be bitten by one of the infected little buggers. The easiest way to prevent infection is to stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (usually at night). Also, mosquito repellents that contain the active ingredients DEET, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be very effective. It will also help if you make a point of removing any standing water from your property, but that can only be so effective. Mosquitoes will commonly travel over a mile in a night, and therefore could come from a water source further from your home.

According to the CDC: "West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.  It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness."

Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of West Nile virus, in particular if you recently had a mosquito bite.

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