West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes near Aurora in Sevier County

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

AURORA, Utah, July 26, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Mosquitoes trapped near Aurora in Sevier County tested positive for West Nile virus Friday, officials said.

A Facebook post from Central Utah Public Health Department said: “So far this season, no locally-acquired human cases of WNV have been reported in Central Utah. Since there is no vaccine for humans for this disease, taking simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites is the key to reducing the risk of infection.”

Individuals are advised to heed the following tips:

  • 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, the news release said. 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.

West Nile virus was also detected in mosquitoes collected in Moab earlier this month.

For more information about West Nile virus, contact the CUPHD at 435-896-5451 or click here.

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