Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in five counties



The state Health Department is reminding Washington residents to protect themselves against mosquitoes, which potentially carry West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in Yakima, Spokane, Grant, Franklin and Benton counties this year.

No reports of human cases have been confirmed, but most people bitten by an infected mosquito won’t get sick.

Some people will develop mild symptoms, such as fever and headache. But for some, the virus can be serious or fatal.

People over 50 and those with weak immune systems are at higher risk for serious illness.

Severe disease can include meningitis or encephalitis, and some neurological effects of the disease may be permanent.

To avoid mosquito bites, the department recommends long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and use of bug repellent when outdoors, especially at times when mosquitoes are active.

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