West Nile virus is a mosquito-carried virus that can cause serious illness. West Nile virus is spread to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes spread the virus when they feed on an infected bird, and then bite people, animals, or other birds.
Most people who are infected with WNV will not become ill. Two to fourteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, some people may develop ﬂu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches. Occasionally, they may have swollen glands or a rash. These symptoms can last for a few days or up to several weeks.
In rare cases, infection can result in a severe and sometimes fatal illness. Serious infection is marked by high fever, severe headache, stﬀ neck, muscle weakness, disorientation, and convulsions. Some symptoms may persist for years.
If you begin to experience serious symptoms of infection 2-14 days after a mosquito bite, see your doctor.
With serious West Nile illness, intensive medical care may be required, such as hospitalization, intravenous ﬂuids, and prevention of secondary infections such as pneumonia.
Mosquitoes & West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (WNV) is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV has been detected in Grant County for over a decade, in mosquitoes, horses, birds and humans. Click here to see maps and statistics of current and historical WNV activity in Grant County and the rest of the state.
“Fight the Bite” – To prevent getting sick from WNV, you should avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Visit the Washington State Department of Health website to learn more about preventing mosquito bites and protecting yourself from WNV.
Safe use of insect repellents:
Repellents containing the following ingredients are eﬀectve against mosquitoes:
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
Permethrin is recommended for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear. Permethrin treated clothing repels and kills ticks and mosquitoes and retains this eﬀect after repeated laundering. Follow directions carefully.
Repellents used on children should contain no more than 30% DEET. Insect repellents are not recommended for children younger than two months.
- Spray your own hands and then rub the product on child’s exposed skin, avoiding eyes and mouth. Children should not apply repellent themselves.
- If a child still puts their hands in their mouth, do not apply repellent to hands.
- Consider using mosquito netting over infant carriers, strollers or playpens.
- Always keep repellent out of reach of children.
If you suspect you or your child is having a reaction to an insect repellent, discontinue use, wash treated skin thoroughly and call the Washington Poison Center 800.222.1222. If you go to a doctor, take the repellent with you.
Grant County Mosquito Control – There are three mosquito control districts in Grant County which were formed to control mosquitoes within in their district to prevent the spread of mosquito-carried disease to humans. To find out more about mosquito control in Grant County or to make a report of mosquito activity, please contact your mosquito control district. If you are not within one of the three districts, call GCHD to find out more about preventing mosquito-carried diseases, such as WNV.
Grant County Mosquito Control District #1
Moses Lake and Potholes
(509) 765-7731 or click here to visit their website.
Grant County Mosquito Control District #2
North Banks Lake-Electric City, Grand Coulee, Coulee Dam
Grant County Mosquito Control #3
South Banks Lake-Coulee City
Birds – WNV is actually a bird disease that is spread by mosquitoes. Certain wild birds—crows, jays, ravens, magpies, and hawks—are more likely to become sick and die from WNV. Increasing numbers of these types of dead birds may be an indication that WNV is present in our community.
If you have found a recently dead (<24 hrs) crow, jay, raven, magpie, or hawk, in good condition (no apparent injuries or cause of death), please keep it. Double-bag the bird using a shovel and gloves, or plastic bags over your hands. Place it in a cool, shaded place, such as a cool garage or a bucket with ice packs and then call Grant County Health District at (509) 766-7960 ext. 0 to report it. Depending on the circumstances, some birds will be collected and tested for WNV. Birds that are not collected can be safely disposed in an outdoor trash receptacle.
To submit reports of dead waterfowl or shorebirds, and wild bird die-offs, contact the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife here or call (800) 606-8768.
To submit reports of domestic poultry illness or die-offs, contact Washington State Department of Agriculture here or call (800) 606-3056.
Horses – Horses, like humans, can also be infected with WNV from the bite of a mosquito. Monitoring of WNV in horses is done by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). For more information about WNV and horses, talk to your veterinarian or visit the WSDA website by clicking here.