West Nile virus detected in Weber County mosquitoes
Sep 1, 2023, 10:23 AM | Updated: 10:33 am
(Mark Wetzel/KSL TV)
OGDEN, Utah — Mosquitoes in three Weber County locations have tested positive for West Nile virus, the Weber Mosquito Abatement District said.
Weber County health officials said mosquitoes that tested positive were captured in:
- Roy near 4300 West and 5500 South
- Ogden near 24th Stree and Pierce Avenue
- North Ogden near 2700 North and 550 East
Earlier this month, mosquitoes captured near 2500 West and 2300 North in Farr West also tested positive for the virus. Officials said they will increase their spraying efforts in these areas.
Testing has detected the virus in mosquitoes across northern Utah, along with Grand, Millard and Washington counties this year. One person in Uintah County has tested positive for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tips to reduce mosquito exposure
- Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors and use an insect repellent with 20%-30% DEET, which is safe to use during pregnancy. Repellents are not recommended for children younger than 2 months of age.
- The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during the evening or early morning.
- Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Remove any puddles of water or standing water including in pet dishes, flowerpots, wading and swimming pools, buckets, tarps and tires.
- 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.
- Consult with an immunization travel clinic before traveling to areas that may have mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Zika or dengue, and take the necessary precautions.
West Nile virus is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, but not all mosquitoes carry the virus. Symptoms of the severe form of West Nile virus include high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, disorientation and confusion. If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
The Utah Department of Health and Human Services said most people infected with West Nile virus don’t develop any symptoms, but about one in 150 people develop a severe illness that affects the central nervous system. Among patients with the neuroinvasive disease, about one in 10 die.
Mosquito problems this summer and fall
Mosquito abatement crews say they are dealing with more marshland than they’ve seen in decades.
“The Great Salt Lake is so salty… as it comes up into the marsh it kills the vegetation and reduces the mosquito habitat,” said Gary Hatch, director of the Davis County Mosquito Abatement Program.
Low water levels at the Great Salt Lake over the recent years have allowed for the creation of tens of thousands of acres of freshwater marshlands in northern Utah.
“We more than tripled the number of acres that we normally spray in May, just because of the large number of adults we’re seeing,” Hatch told KSL TV in June.
Hatch added the species of mosquito that carries West Nile virus has started to hatch “in big numbers.”
The record-breaking snowpack and additional rain this summer has mosquito experts concerned the state could still see a big jump in mosquito populations as more Utahns stay outside closer to dusk.
“With the extreme high water we have had this spring, this has been a massive mosquito year, as we were expecting, the second highest in the last 15 years,” said Dan Miller, director of the Utah County Health Department Mosquito Abatement District.