UTAH – The Utah County Health Department confirmed Monday that the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Utah County. So far this year, the virus has also been detected in mosquitoes in Box Elder, Davis, Salt Lake, Uintah, Washington, and Weber counties, according to health.utah.gov.
“We received a positive test result for West Nile virus in two groups of Culex pipien mosquitos,” said Lance Madigan, Utah County Health Department public information officer. “One batch came from the south county area near Springville, and a second from west of Orem.
Madigan said that while these particular areas were positive, residents in other parts of the county should also be wary, as mosquitos can fly a great distance, even up to 10 miles.
West Nile virus is a virus commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East and is carried by mosquitoes, according to the health.Utah.gov website. The virus, which was found in the U.S. in 1999 and in Utah in August 2003, can cause disease in humans, birds, horses, and some other mammals.
The most common way to get infected is through the bite of a mosquito. Most people – 70-80 percent – who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. The most serious cases can lead to hospitalization, disability, or death. Symptoms of the severe form of West Nile virus include: high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, disorientation and confusion.
Ways to help prevent the spread of West Nile virus:
- Avoid outdoor activities, such as gardening, at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- If outside during the periods when mosquitoes are most active, cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.
- Use mosquito repellents with DEET. Follow product directions for children and how often it should be applied.
- Eliminate standing water in tires or similar water-holding containers as these may serve as mosquito breeding sites. Change the water in birdbaths at least weekly.
- Total West Nile Virus Positive Samples: Utah 2014
- For information about West Nile Virus or Utah County mosquito abatement efforts, visit Mosquito Abatement page or call 801-851-7637
- First 2013 case of human infected by West Nile virus reported in Washington County
- West Nile Virus confirmed in Washington County
- West Nile Virus found in Southwest Utah; mosquito concerns
- West Nile Virus detected in Washington County mosquitoes
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