First West Nile Virus case of the year confirmed in Salt Lake County

Posted at 7:56 AM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 15:16:30-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah - The first human case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in Salt Lake County, according to the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Officials said the infected person has neuroinvasive West Nile Virus, a more severe form of the disease, and is in the hospital.

Health officials are reminding Utahns that West Nile Virus is more of a concern than Zika in our state.

WNV can cause mild to severe illness; most people do not know they have been infected.

Utahns over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for WNV but anyone can be infected.

Symptoms of WNV appear within 3 to 14 days and include fever, headache and body aches.

More severe infections may include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and muscle weakness or convulsions.

"With much of the attention on Zika, it is important to remember the more prevalent threat of West Nile Virus in Utah," Dr. Dagmar Vitek said, Salt Lake County Health Dept. medical director. "The mosquitoes that transmit Zika do not currently live in Utah but two mosquito species that carry and transmit WNV do."

There is no specific treatment for WNV infection other than to treat symptoms.

If you think you have WNV infection, contact your health care provider.