West Nile virus has been found in Franklin County, the state health department announced Wednesday.
Mosquito samples collected in the county tested positive. “It’s the first sign that the virus is active in the state this season since mosquito and dead bird testing began last month. Testing will continue until fall when mosquito season ends,” a news release said.
Most people bitten by infected mosquitoes don’t become sick. But some develop mild symptoms such as fever or headaches, and West Nile can cause serious and even fatal illness, the release said. People with weakened immune systems and those over age 50 are at higher risk, it said.
The health department recommends taking steps to prevent bites, including dumping standing water, keeping windows and doors in good condition to prevent mosquitoes from getting in and using bug repellent. Five counties in the state had positive mosquito tests last season, including Benton and Franklin.
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For more information on West Nile, go to www.doh.wa.gov