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West Nile Virus found in Utah County

(photo: Getty Images)

UTAH COUNTY — The Utah County Health Department’s Mosquito Abatement District confirms West Nile Virus has been found in a Utah County mosquito pool.

The infected mosquitos turned up in a mosquito trap set by the health department in the Footprinter Park area of Provo.

Testing for West Nile

The health department says it sets traps each week throughout Utah County to monitor the local mosquito population. Officials say that only one of their pool traps out of the 1,911 they tested came back positive for West Nile Virus.

Public health officials encourage people to take precautionary measures to avoid WNV exposure.

“With the high water we have had this spring, this has been a huge mosquito year — as we were expecting, the second-highest in the last ten years,” says MAD Director, Dan Miller.

The county said that the Mosquito Abatement District increased mosquito spraying in the air by fogger truck and plane. They do all spraying after sundown to help control the mosquito population.

“While Utah County does not currently have any confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus, this is a great reminder to residents of the importance of taking steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes,” says Ralph Clegg, Executive Director of UCHD.

Mosquito bite prevention

In a press release, county officials say the best way to protect yourself is with the Mosquito Prevention “Ds”:

 

  • DRAIN standing water

  • 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.  You may also visit the mosquito abatement website for more information.  http://bit.ly/UCHDMosquito

They also say that WNV can cause illness and many people may not even know they have been infected because symptoms can appear anywhere between 3 to 14 days after a bite.

Those symptoms can include fever, headache and body aches. Severe infections may include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions.