West Nile Virus found in Grant County

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GRANT COUNTY — Residents are being urged to wear bug repellent and clean up potential mosquito breeding sites on their property after West Nile Virus was discovered in a mosquito trapped in Grant County.

West Nile virus is a recurring event in Grant County. Most people who are infected with West Nile won’t get sick, or will suffer mild symptoms. But the disease can lead to serious consequences for some people. The highest risk is for people 50 years of age and older.

The virus also affects horses. They are more vulnerable to the disease and “many of those infected die or have to be euthanized. Horse owners are urged to vaccinate their horses and keep vaccinations up to date,” according to a press release from the Grant County Health District.

The infected mosquito was trapped east of Road C Southeast near the Frenchman Wasteway. It’s the first infected mosquito found in Grant County, and the second in Washington, in 2019.

Three Washington residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus in 2018; two cases were contracted outside the state. None of the human cases were in Grant County. One Grant County horse was infected, however.

People can protect themselves by staying indoors at dawn and dusk, the greatest times of mosquito activity. A long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a hat should be worn when going into mosquito-infested areas, which include wetlands and wooded areas.

Mosquito repellent is recommended. The most effective repellents include the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Well-fitting window screens are recommended, and should be repaired or replaced if necessary.

Residents should look around their property for sources of standing water, including buckets, plastic covers, cans or bottles and old tires, among others. Water in fountains, small pools and animal troughs should be changed at least twice per week, the press release said. Roof gutters and outdoor faucets and sprinklers should be kept in good condition.

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