West Nile virus reported in Washington

The discovery of the existence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes has been announced in Benton County, Wash.

The Tri-City Herald of Kennewick, Wash., reported that adult mosquitoes taken from area sewage lagoons have been the first to test positive in the county this year, prompting the announcement of area mosquito spraying scheduled to begin on June 29.

People living in infected areas have been advised to wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors and to use insect repellent when near mosquitoes. To reduce the number of mosquitoes near homes and gardens, residents have been advised to rid areas of any standing water.

Some people infected with West Nile demonstrate only minor symptoms such as headache and fever, but serious illness and death can occur. The CDC estimates that 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will develop West Nile fever, with symptoms including fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches. Skin rashes and swollen lymph glands can also develop.

Four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not develop any type of illness.

The incubation time for West Nile disease can be anywhere from two to 15 days with symptoms lasting for several days.

In Eastern Washington in 2009, 38 people were recorded as having become sick from the virus and one person death was reported.