A total of nine human West Nile virus cases have been confirmed in Benton and Franklin counties, the bicounty health district confirmed Friday.
And three more potential cases have been reported, the district said.
West Nile virus generally is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. Most people who contract it don’t become sick, although it can lead to serious illness.
There is no human vaccine, so prevention is the best tool, health officials say.
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People should remove standing water from their property, make sure screen doors and windows are secure, use mosquito repellant, wear long pants and sleeves when in mosquito-infested areas and, if possible, stay indoors during the peak mosquito times of dusk and dawn.
The nine cases include eight in Benton County and one in Franklin County.