The West Nile virus – which has claimed at least 87 lives nationwide this year – is making inroads in this state. Health officials have confirmed that two Washington residents have contracted the disease, the first cases here since 2010.
So far, only one Washington resident has died from the mosquito-borne illness, back in 2009.
One of the two Washington cases this year is believed to have been contracted in another state, but the other is not; the patient has not been out of Washington. He is a Yakima man in his 30s.
Hearing that made me remember a camping trip I took in early April. We camped at Yakima Sportsman State Park, which is near the Yakima River, and the mosquitos were so bad we drove into town for repellent. I have to figure the skeeters are even worse now.
The Centers for Disease Control offers information on West Nile virus and tips that might help prevent getting bitten. Click here.