West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes in Utah County

Posted at 2:07 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 16:15:59-04

UTAH COUNTY, Utah – Mosquitoes in Utah County have tested positive for West Nile Virus in the South Provo-North Springville (Ironton) area.

The Utah County Health Department’s Mosquito Abatement District confirmed the virus Tuesday.

Public health officials are encouraging Utahns to take precautionary measures to avoid WNV exposure.

The Utah County Health Department sets traps each week throughout the county to monitor the mosquito population.

Health officials said the mosquitoes that have the potential to carry West Nile Virus and other arboviral virus (Western Equine Encephalitis or Saint Louis Encephalitis) are separated and tested to see if these viruses are present.

To date, Utah County has tested 792 pools of mosquitoes with only one positive pool detected.

Authorities have increased mosquito spraying in the air by fogger truck and plane.

Utah County health officials said all spraying is done after sundown.

“While Utah County does not currently have any confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus, this is a great reminder to residents of the importance of taking steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes,” Eric Edwards said, Deputy Director of UCHD.

Protect yourself with the Mosquito Prevention “Ds”:

  • DRAIN standing water
  • 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.

Utah County Health officials said WNV can cause mild to severe illness and many people may not even know they have been infected. It is estimated that less than 1 percent of people infected with WNV will develop severe infection, which can result in debilitating long-term complications or death. Symptoms of WNV appear within 3 to 14 days and include fever, headache and body aches. Severe infections may include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions.

*”Mosquito pool” is the term used for a group of mosquitoes caught and tested out of a single trap.