St George News

West Nile Virus found in Southwest Utah; mosquito concerns

ST. GEORGE – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has received confirmation of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes located in Washington County. This is the first finding of West Nile Virus in Utah this year.

“Although most people infected with this virus won’t experience any symptoms, anyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito can get the disease,” the health department’s surveillance nurse, Lisa Starr, said. “Persons over the age of 50 or those with poor immune systems are more likely to develop a serious illness if they are infected. That’s why prevention is key.”

Prevent West Nile Virus and protect yourself from mosquitoes by:

  • Wearing repellant containing DEET or picaridin when outdoors between dusk and dawn (when mosquitoes are most active)
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors
  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas
  • Empty any standing water on your property
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure

“Symptoms of West Nile Virus can include sudden fever, fatigue, aches and pains, headache, and rash,” Starr said. “You should seek medical attention if there is sudden onset of fever or you experience neck stiffness, disorientation, or paralysis.”

Resources

Southwest Utah Public Health Department website

Washington County – For abatement and control see Southwest Mosquito Abatement and Control District website

Iron County – No abatement and control district. For mosquito concerns, telephone Iron County Weed Abatement supervisor, Kacy Adams: 435-559-1408,

Submitted in substantive part by Southwest Utah Public Health Department

Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2013, all rights reserved.

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