For immediate release: July 1, 2021 (21-161)Spanish
Media contacts:Teresa McCallion, Communications, 360-701-7991
West Nile virus found in mosquitoes in Walla Walla County
OLYMPIA – The Department of Health reminds residents to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate standing water where mosquitoes may breed, now that West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes from Burbank, Washington in Walla Walla County. This is the first confirmed detection in the state this year.
Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus are able to spread infection to humans. Last year, two people were reported to have become infected with West Nile virus in Washington. The majority of people infected with the virus do not get sick. About one in five will develop a fever or other symptoms that go away without medical treatment.
For a small number of people, infection with West Nile virus can lead to permanent neurologic effects or death. People over age 60 and those with certain medical conditions are most at risk of severe disease.
People can take simple precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
- Use an effective, EPA-registered insect repellent.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
- Limit time outside from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitos outside.
- Eliminate mosquito-breeding areas by disposing of standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.
Before traveling, learn about the risks of mosquito-borne disease at your destination.