Officials: Utah County resident contracts West Nile virus in state’s first case of season

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 16, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The state’s first West Nile Virus case of 2018 has been found in Utah County, officials said Thursday.

The Utah County Health Department said in a news release that it is unknown whether the individual contracted West Nile Virus in Utah County or while travelling. Public health officials are encouraging individuals to take precautionary measures to avoid exposure to the virus.

“Statewide in 2018, Utah is seeing fewer human cases than last year,” the news release said. “In fact, by this time last year, Utah had recorded a total of 17 human cases and 74 positive mosquito pools. Currently, Utah has one human case and only 27 positive mosquito pools. Over the past five years, the state has averaged 18 human cases per year.”

Officials are recommending people protect themselves with the Mosquito Prevention “Ds”:

  • DRAIN standing water. Remove items that can collect standing water such as tires, buckets, unused flower pots, toys, etc.
  • 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 here

“This should serve as a reminder to all residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and West Nile Virus,” said the UCHD public information officer, Aislynn Tolman-Hill. “The importance of using insect repellent with DEET cannot be overstated. 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.”

West Nile Virus can cause mild to severe illness and many people may not even know they have been infected, officials said. 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 of West Nile Virus 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. Those who experience symptoms of West Nile Virus should contact their healthcare provider.


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