The Franklin County Mosquito Control District has issued recommendations for area residents, and to take precautions.

In the last week or so,  the District found trapped mosquitoes that tested positive for the virus in the vicinity of North Wahluke Road.

The District, along with others in Southeastern Washington,  have traps set up in various areas of the region, especially where the insects are most prevalent.   They are monitored weekly and the insects tested.

This is the first positive test found this year in Franklin County.   County Mosquito Control director David Dorsett said Wednesday:

“If you have to be out in areas with mosquito activity in the evening and early mornings we recommend that you wear long sleeve pants and shirts as well as insect repellent containing DEET.  West Nile virus is typically most active this time of year and protecting yourself from being bitten is the only way to insure you won’t contract the virus.”

The District plans aerial spraying as well as ground treatments over this area Wednesday August 14th and August 15th.

West Nile virus is most prevalent during the mid to late summer season, and has been found in the western parts of Benton as well as Yakima Counties this year.

West Nile Virus was first detected in 1937, but did not make it's way into the U.S. until about 1999.  Symptoms of the virus are flu-like: fever, headache, joint stiffness and pain, swollen glands, rash, and back pain.   In some cases, especially in older people and those with weakened immune systems, it can lead to encephalitis, which is irritation and swelling of the brain.