LOCAL NEWS

Fifth Human Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed In Utah

Aug 29, 2019, 3:54 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 11:39 am
Photo by Tom Ervin/Getty Images

PRICE, Utah – The fifth human case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Utah.

The most-recently affected individual lives in Carbon County. This was the first case of the virus reported by Carbon County officials.

Three people have been infected in Grand County while one person was confirmed to have the virus in Salt Lake County.

The third case in Grand County was confirmed Thursday, just a few hours before Carbon County officials confirmed the case in their county.

Officials with the Utah County Health Department also confirmed mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found in the county.

That brings the total number of counties in Utah with confirmed West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes to nine. Officials in Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Duchesne, Salt Lake, Uintah, Utah, Washington and Weber counties have detected the virus in testing pools in their respective counties.

“There are a growing number of mosquitoes carrying the disease,” said epidemiology bureau manager Ilene Risk with the Salt Lake County Health Department. “It is now especially important that residents protect themselves from mosquito bites, particularly in the hours from dusk to dawn.”

The Salt Lake County Health Department gave these steps to minimize exposure opportunities:

  • Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus; follow package directions about application.
  • After dusk, wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Drain standing water in yards (old tires, potted plant trays, pet dishes, toys, buckets, etc.).
  • Keep roof gutters clear of debris.
  • Clean and stock garden ponds with mosquito-eating fish or mosquito dunks.
  • Ensure door and window screens are in good condition so mosquitoes cannot get inside.
  • Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.

Officials said there is no specific treatment for West Nile Virus infection other than to treat symptoms.

Infected individuals with the virus will have mild-to-severe flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, fever, rash and headaches. Officials said in rare cases, some patients may become infected with meningitis or encephalitis.

Less than 1% of people infected with the virus will develop West Nile Virus Neuroinvasive Disease, which can have lifelong complications or cause death.

Anyone who thinks they have contracted the virus is asked to contact their healthcare provider.

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Fifth Human Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed In Utah