Franklin County finds first West Nile mosquito

Health officials Friday reported finding Franklin County's first West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes of the season in Pasco's Chiawana Park.

The mosquito sample was collected by the Franklin County Mosquito Control District.

Mosquitoes carrying the virus also have been found in Yakima County and Grant County this year, but no people have been reported to be infected with the disease, and reports of infected birds have been low, officials said.

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

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 until the first hard frost.

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