Washington reports its first confirmed cases of West Nile Virus this year

Washington reports its first confirmed cases of West Nile Virus this year
File photo of a mosquito. (� 2019 Cox Media Group.)

The first two cases of West Nile virus in Washington this year were reported by the Yakima County Health District and Benton-Franklin Health District.

The Yakima County resident, a man in his 50′s, was hospitalized due to the infection. The Benton County resident, a man in his 60′s, did not require hospitalization.

The Washington Department of Health says the virus can be serious and even fatal.

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Along with people, horses, birds, and other animals can be infected as well.

It is almost always spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, which get the virus after feeding on birds that carry it.

WDOH says there is no evidence that the virus spreads by direct contact with infected people or animals.

Health officials say the majority of those infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick, and about one in five people will develop a fever or other symptoms that go away without treatment.

Even fewer, about one in 150 people infected, will have more severe symptoms, DOH says.

Severe symptoms may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and coma.

Health officials say if you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.