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West Nile Virus detected in Utah, officials urge protective measures against mosquito bites

Posted at 10:12 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 12:12:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health and Human Services is urging Utahns to take protective measures against mosquito bites as they say West Nile virus has been detected in Salt Lake, Davis and Uintah counties.

While no human or animal cases of West Nile have been reported yet, the risk for the virus still exists, state officials report.

Most people who get infected with the virus have no symptoms, some have flu-life symptoms and in rare cases, symptoms can lead to hospitalization or even death.

High fever, severe headache, stiff neck, disorientation and confusion are some of the severe symptoms for West Nile Virus.

Officials urge Utahns to take simple steps to avoid mosquito bites such as wearing long pants, socks and sleeves as well as using a bug repellent.

Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn, so try to avoid being outdoors during those hours and keeps doors and windows closed.

Health experts also ask that you remove any stagnant water in pet dishes, flower pots, swimming pools, buckets, etc. You can report bodies of stagnant water through the Utah Mosquito Abatement Association.

If you're traveling to an area with mosquito-borne illness such as Zika or dengue, consult with an immunization travel clinic to make sure you have necessary protections.

“West Nile virus has an annual presence in Utah and it isn’t going away," said Hannah Rettler, Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) vector borne/zoonotic epidemiologist. “Now is a good time to protect yourself from mosquito bites and work to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home," adds Rettler.

Weekly West Nile virus reports will be made available through the fall here.