West Nile virus found near Kettle Falls Campground

S-E Staff Reporter

West Nile virus was discovered in mosquitoes near the Kettle Falls Day Use and Group Site Campground on the northern section of Lake Roosevelt.

The National Park Service (NPS) announced on July 29 that test results from a mosquito sample came back positive from the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH).

According to Park Ranger Brandon Cadwell, less than two percent of the overall sample tested positive for the virus.

Steven County’s wet and mild winter, paired with all of the summer rain, has made Lake Roosevelt a utopia for mosquitos.

Everyone in the area, whether long time residents or visitors passing though, has had to deal with an extraordinarily large mosquito population this year, according to the NPS.

The Lake Roosevelt NPS said there was no need for alarm.

The NPS is not recommending people avoid the Kettle Falls Campground, but they are recommending people take precautions if they’re visiting the area.

Visitors are encouraged to protect themselves from mosquitoes during their stay by wearing loose fitting long-sleeves shirt and pants, combined with a mosquito repellent registered with the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency. If camping, campers need to make sure screens to windows and doors on recreational vehicles and tents are working and have no holes.

Kettle Falls Campground visitors are encouraged to check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html) for guidance about symptoms if they believe they have contracted the virus.

For specific questions concerning West Nile Virus in Stevens County, please contact the Northeast Tri County Health District (www.netchd.org).

“We’re still consulting on what is appropriate to try to control and treat the mosquito population within NPS policies,” said Cadwell.

Cadwell did say that the NPS will continue to keep the public updated through their website (www.nps.gov/laro/planyourvisit/conditions.htm) and through their social media (https://www.facebook.com/LakeRooseveltNRA).

Read the full story in the August 3, 2016 edition of the Statesman-Examiner.