Third human West Nile Virus case confirmed in Utah County

The Culex mosquito is one variety found in Utah that can carry the West Nile Virus. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Sept. 11, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The third human case of West Nile Virus this season has been identified in Utah County, officials said Monday.

“While this is not the first case of West Nile Virus in Utah County, this should serve as a reminder to all residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and West Nile Virus The importance of using insect repellent with DEET can not be overstated,” said the UCHD public information officer, Aislynn Tolman-Hill, in a prepared statement.

“It is also important for residents to be aware of the free services provided by the Health Department’s Mosquito Abatement District. They are a great resource available to residents in Utah County. Residents are encouraged to contact them with mosquito concerns.”

The Utah Department of Health confirmed late last month that two human cases had also been reported in Salt Lake County.

Early last month, Utah County officials said mosquitoes with the West Nile Virus had been detected in water in the south Provo/north Springville area, though at that time there were no confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus.

West Nile Virus is a virus commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It is carried by mosquitoes. West Nile can cause disease in humans, birds, horses, and some other mammals. The virus was found in the U.S. in 1999 and in Utah in August 2003.

The Utah County Health Department (UCHD) has recommended remembering the following “Ds” to limit mosquito exposure:

  • DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outside
  • DRESS appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outside
  • DEFEND yourself by using insect repellent with DEET
  • DOOR and window screens should be in good working condition
  • DISTRICT personnel are available to address mosquito concerns. Call 801-851-7637 or fill out a service request form online at: http://goo.gl/Yi1yKs.

West Nile Virus can cause mild to severe illness, and many people may not even know they have been infected. It is estimated that less than 1 percent of people infected with the virus will develop severe infection, which can result in debilitating long-term complications or death.

Symptoms appear within three to 14 days and include fever, headache and body aches. Severe infections may include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions.

For more information on the virus, click here.

Photo Courtesy: Utah County Health Department

 

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