More West Nile Virus found in Grant County

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MOSES LAKE — Health officials with Grant County have found more mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in and around Moses Lake.

According to the Grand County Health District, West Nile Virus “has been identified in 13 mosquito samples collected primarily from the greater Moses Lake area by Grant Mosquito Control District No. 1.”

Grant County has two mosquito control districts. District 1 includes all of Moses Lake, though it extends far beyond the city to include much of the southeast of Grant County.

The second district includes Coulee City and Electric City, as well as surrounding areas.

While there is no countywide mosquito-trapping program, nothing outside the two specialty districts, the health district said one infected mosquito was found in Wilson Creek, “the first detection of (West Nile Virus) in that area since surveillance started there in 2014.”

So health official’s suspect infected mosquitoes are present countywide.

So far this year, no one has gotten sick with West Nile Virus in Grant County. However, detection of the virus in mosquitoes means there is a risk.

“West Nile virus has been found in Grant County for over a decade, so this is not a new problem for us. It is still important that everyone continue taking steps to prevent mosquito bites,” said Amber McCoy, lead environmental health specialist for the Grant County Health District.

Almost two weeks ago, Grant County Health District officials reported finding a single mosquito infected with West Nile Virus near the intersection of I-90 and Dodson Road.

While most people who get infected with West Nile Virus don’t get sick, the disease can lead to serious neurological problems and even death in some.

The Health District states that the best way to avoid exposure to West Nile Virus is to not get bitten by a mosquito in the first place. Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, wear long sleeves when outside, use mosquito repellent, and clean up or eliminate places of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

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