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  • Writer's pictureMLWA 7

Grant County reports first case of the West Nile Virus

- Moses Lake, WA

Grant County Mosquito Control District No. 1 (GCMCD1) has reported that a mosquito sample collected last week has tested positive for West Nile virus, making it the first detection of the virus in Grant County, and the seventh detection statewide, for the 2021 season.

The State’s first positive mosquito sample was reported from Walla Walla County on July 1st.

In 2020, two Washington residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus disease, both of which were infected in their county of residence: Benton and Yakima counties. No human cases were reported from Grant County. Complete data can be found on the Washington State

So far this year there are no confirmed lab reports of human or other animal cases, however, detection of West Nile virus in the mosquito population means there is a potential for spread of the virus to humans and other vulnerable species.

“Many of us are enjoying the summer activities that were postponed or cancelled last year, but we do not want anyone to get sick because of a mosquito bite. If you haven’t already been taking steps to prevent mosquito bites, now is a great time to start,” said Stephanie Shopbell, GCHD Environmental Health Manager.

West Nile virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of getting West Nile virus is low, but anyone can become infected. People over 50 years of age or who have certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease are at greater risk of serious illness. Most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not get sick.

About 1 in 5 people infected will have mild symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches. Even fewer, about 1 in 150 people infected, will have more severe symptoms including headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and coma. Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a possible West Nile virus infection, especially if you recently had mosquito bites.

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