Oh geez, West Nile Virus — come on, not now. Read the room.
In news that can only be responded to with a sad shake of the head and a muttering of “of course,” the Washington Department of Health has announced that they have found mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus in Benton and Yakima counties. As we mentioned in Slog PM, this by itself isn’t necessarily unusual; there are often indications of WNV here between July and October.
So as much fun as it is to have to tie a bandana around your face like you’re a train robber from the 1800s, now you may also wish to slather yourself in insect repellent and get a pair of thigh-high socks to cover your legs. Whee.
A few Facts You Should Know about avoiding West Nile: It almost always comes from mosquito bites, so the best way to evade this particular illness is to make yourself unattractive to bugs. Along with bug spray and long garments, you should also check the screens on your windows and take extra care when hanging around bodies of water or when the sun is setting. Dump out places where mosquitos might lay eggs, like flowerpots and birdbaths. (Not that this heat would allow standing water to stand for long.)
If you do get infected, there’s only a 20-ish percent chance you’ll know it, since most people are asymptomatic, and the virus can’t be spread through close contact between people. But if you’re one of those 20% who does get sick, it’ll be unpleasant: fever, disorientation, weakness, and “stupor” are among the symptoms, which also describes my ex, am I right, ha ha ha ha ha ughhhh this summer cannot be over soon enough.