West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes in Davis County

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

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 14, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected in Davis County, officials said.

A Facebook post from the Davis County Health Department said: “There have been multiple pools in Davis County with mosquitoes that are positive for West Nile virus. Be careful; most bug sprays will wash off in the water.”

The post did not give the locations of the pools as there were 12 for the week ending Aug. 3, so officials are warning all residents of Davis County to take precautions.

The Health Department advises the following:

  • People should avoid mosquito bites after dark by wearing long sleeves that are brightly colored, long pants, and repellent.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients DEET: Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and Icaridin outside the US), IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), 2-undecanone. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • It is especially important to prevent night mosquito bites by having good window screens and by using a screened tent if sleeping outside.
  • Removing stagnant water, such as water in unmaintained swimming pools, hot tubs, wading pools, water filled buckets, livestock water troughs, and flood-irrigated fields will reduce mosquito populations.

If a person is infected by West Nile virus, the risk of serious disease is low, said a news release from the American Mosquito Control Association. Most of those affected will have a mild to severe flu-like illness with muscle aches, fever, rash, and headache that usually lasts a few days but can last months. In rare cases those infected may get meningitis or encephalitis, officials said. Those at greatest risk of serious disease are those with weakened immune systems, diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. The elderly are at greatest risk for severe complications, the news release said. The overall death rate is about one for every thousand infected individuals.

Horses are much more likely to suffer from the virus, but no properly vaccinated horse is known to have suffered significant illness from the virus. Contact your veterinarian about equine vaccination, the news release said.

“Crows, ravens, magpies, jays, hawks, eagles, and owls are often killed by West Nile virus,” the news release said. “If you see one of these birds behaving in an oddly sick manner, or find one fresh-dead for no apparent reason, contact Mosquito Abatement. The birds will not be collected, but their incidence can help determine the extent of West Nile virus activity.”

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