UTAH, July 20, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utahns are being warned to take precautions against the West Nile virus this summer.
“While COVID-19 has captured much of the state’s attention, public health officials across Utah are reminding all residents who plan to spend some or all of the upcoming holiday weekend outside to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said a news release from the Utah Department of Health. “So far, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported and only one positive mosquito pool has been reported.”
But according to Hannah Rettler, epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, it is likely we will begin to see increased mosquito activity soon.
“Just because no human cases have been reported doesn’t mean mosquitoes aren’t active,” Rettler said. “Taking simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites is the best way to reduce your risk for infection.”
UDOH offers the following tips:
- Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks while outdoors and use an insect repellent with 20%-30% DEET, which is safe to use during pregnancy. Repellents are not recommended for children younger than two months of age.
- The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
- Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Remove any puddles of water or standing water including in pet dishes, flower pots, wading and swimming pools, buckets, tarps, and tires.
- Report bodies of stagnant water to your local Mosquito Abatement District (MAD). Visit http://www.umaa.org/ for a list of MADs.
- Keep doors, windows, and screens in good condition and make sure they fit tightly.
- Consult with an immunization travel clinic before traveling to areas that may have mosquito-borne illness such as Zika or dengue and take the necessary precautions.