West Nile virus detected at Utah Correctional Facility
Aug 29, 2023, 7:00 PM
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — Mosquitoes are becoming problematic for the staff and inmates at the new Utah State Correctional Facility. In fact, some of the mosquitoes are testing positive for West Nile Virus.
Prison officials have advised those at the facility to wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and closed-toe shoes. They also say mosquito repellant will be provided to inmates in lower-security areas. The inmates would apply repellant themselves.
However, the inmates will be monitored before being allowed into recreation areas.
While the new prison is in prime mosquito territory, there doesn’t appear to be an immediate threat. On its West Nile Virus map, the Centers for Disease Control reports 455 cases of West Nile Virus reported so far in 2023.
“While we are not seeing an immediate threat from this early detection, given the prison’s close proximity to the mosquito habitat and potentially infected mosquitoes, we want to ensure that everyone continues to be vigilant,” said Dr. Ary Faraji with the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District in a news release from the State Department of Corrections.
According to the release, the mosquitoes carrying the virus are most active:
- one-half hour before sunset,
- one hour after sunset, and
- one hour after sunrise.
Other actions taken against West Nile Virus at the prison
Mosquito traps are also being set up on the grounds of the facility. By using the traps, officials will be able to control and monitor the adult population of mosquitoes.
Additionally, standing water sources, such as puddles and drainage areas, have been eliminated to help cut down on the increasing number of mosquitoes.
Those suffering from WNV can experience body aches, joint pain, and life-threatening brain swelling.
Learn more about West Nile Virus from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
Mark Jones contributed to this article.
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