Human case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Utah County

UTAH COUNTY — The Utah County Health Department is confirming the state’s first human case of West Nile Virus for 2018.

According to a press release issued Thursday, it’s unclear whether the individual contracted West Nile Virus in Utah County or while traveling, but public health officials are encouraging individuals to take precautions to avoid exposure.

“This is should serve as a reminder to all residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and West Nile Virus The importance of using insect repellent with DEET cannot be overstated,” stated Aislynn Tolman-Hill,  UCHD Public Information Officer. “It is also important for residents to be aware of the free services provided by the Health Department’s Mosquito Abatement District. They are a great resource available to residents in Utah County. Residents are encouraged to contact them with mosquito concerns.”

By this time last year, Utah had seen a total of 17 human cases of West Nile Virus and 74 positive tests at a mosquito pools. This year there is only the lone human case to date, and 27 positive tests at mosquito pools statewide.

The health department provided these tips for avoiding exposure as well as details on the symptoms of the virus:

• DRAIN standing water. Remove items that can collect standing water such as tires, buckets, unused flower pots, toys, etc.
• DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outside
• DRESS appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outside
• DEFEND yourself by using insect repellent with DEET
• DOOR and window screens should be in good working condition
• DISTRICT personnel are available to address mosquito concerns. Call 801-851-7637 or fill out a service request form online at: http://goo.gl/Yi1yKs.

“WNV can cause mild to severe illness and many people may not even know they have been infected. It is estimated that less than 1% of people infected with WNV will develop severe infection, which can result in debilitating long-term complications or death. Symptoms of WNV appear within 3 to 14 days and include fever, headache and body aches. Severe infections may include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience symptoms of WNV.”