State health officials confirm two cases of West Nile virus | Health
Health officials say they've found two cases of West Nile virus in Washington state, the first human cases in two years. The test results were confirmed this week at the Washington State Public Health Laboratories located in Shoreline.
Officials with the Department of Health say the infection was contracted by a Pierce County woman in her 70s, but she was likely exposed while traveling out the state.
The second case was contracted by a Yakima man in his 30s, but it was determined he hadn't left the state.
Mosquito samples acquired in south central Washington tested positive for the virus earlier this year. Birds and even horses are likely victims of the infection. A horse contracted the virus last month in Benton County and was euthanized.
Spokane remains a low-risk area according to Spokane Regional Health District, but out of state travelers are still at risk to the virus.
To avoid contact with the virus, the health district recommends the public avoid contact with mosquito bite by dressing in skin covering clothing and using mosquito repellent when outdoors.
Draining sitting water around your home can reduce opportunities for mosquitoes to breed.
According to the state, symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and coma.
Less than one percent of people who come in contact with the virus exhibit severe symptoms.