West Nile virus found in Mabton mosquitoes

The Washington State Health Department has its first confirmation this year that West Nile is present in the state and it's in the Mid-Columbia.

The first sample of mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus this year in the state was collected Tuesday near Mabton. Monitoring and testing dead birds and mosquitoes has been done since June.

In 2009, 38 people in Washington became sick from West Nile virus infections. Last year, the state had two human cases in the state.

Although there have been no human cases identified this year, people should be aware that the virus is here and can cause very serious illness, according to the state.

It recommends using bug repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves outdoors when mosquitoes are active. Also check for standing water around your home.