First human case of West Nile virus for 2022 confirmed in Utah

Sep 2, 2022, 9:01 AM

File image of a mosquito....

File image of a mosquito.

SALT LAKE CITY — Public health officials have confirmed the first positive human case of West Nile virus in the state this year.

The person is a male resident of the Weber-Morgan Health District, between the ages of 65 and 84. He is currently hospitalized with neuroinvasive West Nile virus.

Health officials said the virus was detected in mosquitoes in the Weber-Morgan Health District about a month ago.

As of Thursday, 73 positive mosquito pools have been identified across the state in Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, and Uintah counties, as well as two positive horses in Uintah County.

In 2021, there were 28 reported human cases of West Nile virus in Utah, including three deaths.

“Mosquito season isn’t over and Utahns should continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Hannah Rettler, vector-borne/zoonotic epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “Many more Utahns could become ill with West Nile virus if they don’t take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

Health officials said two additional suspect human cases are currently under investigation in Weber and Uintah counties.

Tips for reducing your risk of mosquito bites

  • Use insect repellent when you go outdoors. Repellents containing 20% to 30% DEET are recommended and safe to use during pregnancy. For more information about insect repellents, visit the EPA information page. Always follow label directions.
  • Limit outdoor activities from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.

Tips for reducing mosquitoes around your home

  • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water so eliminate pools of water as much as possible. Empty water from pet dishes, flower pots, wading pools, backyard ponds, buckets, tarps, tires, and puddles at least once a week.
  • Report bodies of stagnant water to your local mosquito abatement district (MAD). Visit http://www.umaa.org/ for a list of MADs.
  • Keep doors, windows, and screens in good condition and make sure they fit tightly.

Rettler said most people infected with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms. About 20% of infected people will have flu-like symptoms, while fewer than 1% develop a serious, potentially deadly illness.

Utahns age 60 and older and those with certain medical conditions are at greater risk of serious illness, according to the DHHS. Public health officials said Utahns who develop symptoms of West Nile virus, including high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, disorientation and confusion, should see a health care provider.

Acording to the DHHS, an average of 25 human cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed each year since surveillance started in 2003.

For more information about West Nile virus, call your local health department or visit https://epi.health.utah.gov/west-nile-virus/.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

crayons in a box...

Aley Davis

Siblings can expedite learning opportunities both academically and emotionally

Formal learning may be on break for the summer, but experts tell parents to not overlook the powerful lessons siblings can teach each other at home.

22 minutes ago

Seniors exercise at River’s Bend Senior Center in Salt Lake County. (KSL TV)...

Dan Spindle

Positively 50+: Salt Lake County helping ‘enhance fitness’ for better health

The National Institutes of Health noted in a recent study that nearly a quarter of all adults worldwide are inactive, meaning they just don’t move enough or get any exercise.

1 hour ago

Texas longhorn cattle walk through downtown Salt Lake City during a cattle drive to kick off the Da...

Karah Brackin

Longhorns take to SLC streets for Days of ’47 cattle parade

If you thought you saw longhorns walking through the streets of downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday, you would be correct!

3 hours ago

The father, stepmother and brother of an emaciated 12-year-old West Haven boy who died earlier this...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

3 family members arrested, accused of causing death of emaciated 12-year-old boy

The father, stepmother and older brother of a 12-year-old West Haven boy who died on July 9 have been arrested and are accused of causing the boy's death following years of abuse.

4 hours ago

Fire crews respond to a brush fire on the east bench of Provo near Summit Drive and Ridge Drive on ...

Daniel Woodruff and Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Crews battle brush fire in Provo; 2nd fire reported near rec center

Firefighters are battling a brush fire that is burning on the east bench of Provo.

4 hours ago

(Emery County Sheriff's Office)...

Andrew Adams

Volunteers: Technical rescue needed to save man at Zero Gravity slot canyon in Emery County

Volunteers said it took a technical rescue to free a stuck man from an extremely tight spot in Zero Gravity slot canyon.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

First human case of West Nile virus for 2022 confirmed in Utah