MOSES LAKE – Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found in Grant County.
Grant County Mosquito Control District No. 1 reported that a mosquito sample collected within the district tested positive for the virus. It was the first detection of the virus in Grant County this season and the second statewide.
The district covers the greater Moses Lake area, including the Moses Lake Sand Dunes and Potholes.
The state’s first positive mosquito sample was reported from Benton County.
In 2018, three Washington residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus disease; Two were infected outside of the state.
No human cases were reported from Grant County, though the virus was found in 29 mosquito samples. One Grant County horse also was infected.
West Nile virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. The risk of getting West Nile virus is low, but anyone can become infected, according to Grant County health offices.
People older than 50 have the highest risk of serious illness. Most people who are infected will not get sick.
Other species at risk are birds and horses, which are especially vulnerable. Many of those infected die or have to be euthanized, said health officials.
Horse owners are urged vaccinate their horses and keep those vaccinations up to date. There is no human vaccine to protect against West Nile virus.