West Nile activity continues to spread

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - KEPR is always keeping you up to date on mosquito activity and we learned that this season is the busiest the district has seen in the past three years.

John Bates is newly-retired. That's made it easier to take daily walks along the Columbia in Pasco.

"It's our favorite place, I'd hate to know that is impacted by a significant health concern," said John Bates.

But there is a concern, I learned our area has had the most cases of West Nile found in different locations, since 2010.
The first positive in Benton County in the last three years, putting all hands on deck for district staff.

"What it tells us is that the birds are infected and moving and the mosquitoes are moving," said Benton County Mosquito Control Manager Angela Beehler.

Franklin County have seen one case in the past two years, but a positive test popped up this week in Mesa. Benton County is spraying from the sky twice as much as it did last year, trying to get a handle on the virus.

"It's in the area and it's something that is going to be here for quite sometime, we don't want people to let their guard down," said Beehler.

John and Bonnie certainly aren't.

"We noticed a couple of bites on the grandkids," said Bates.

Experts worry people have gotten a little more lax with using bug spray and wearing long sleeves.

"We need them to be wearing repellent right now, this is when you will get bit and possibly start to build that virus in your system," said Beehler.

You already know to get rid of standing water, but you also shouldn't leave pet food sitting out. Infected birds can eat it and spread deadly bacteria to your pets. Taking your own precautions can be key to building off any impact made by the experts.

Officials say this is the peak part of the mosquito season. Get animals vaccinated for West Nile. Remove that standing water and use plenty of bug spray.