First case of West Niles reported in IL in 2018

Mosquitos collected in Central El Paso test positive for West Nile

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Officials say no cases of West Nile have been reported this season, but 14 were confirmed locally past year.

The sample came from the Grant County Mosquito Control District #1, which covers the greater Moses Lake region. No cases were reported from Grant County, though West Nile virus was found in 14 mosquito samples in the county. Last year, 553 human cases were reported throughout the state.

Certain species of mosquitoes carry WNV, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.

IH said West Nile virus was first detected in the South Okanagan during the summer of 2009. But most people infected with this virus won't show any serious symptoms at all.

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The virus, which is spread through mosquito bites, is rare for humans to contract, but it can be deadly. Severe symptoms may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and coma.

Sebesta said that it is hard to say exactly how many mosquitoes are infected. "We continue to ask for everyone's cooperation in draining all backyard mosquito sources and wearing an effective mosquito repellent when spending time outdoors". Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Take special care when using repellent on children.

Use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors. "Bird baths, toys, kid pools, all of that will still collect the water too". The elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with other underlying conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease. The health district is also encouraging Grant County residents to report dead birds to the health district at 509-766-7960. In 2017 it was confirmed in 21 California horses, eight of which died or were euthanized. There is now no vaccine available for humans.

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