Utah’s first human case of West Nile Virus for this year has been detected in Washington County.
Utah Department of Health officials also reported a horse in Washington County tested positive for the virus.
To date, most West Nile virus has activity has occurred in the southwestern part of the state, but that doesn’t mean the virus is limited to that area of Utah, UDOH said in a press release.
“There is no vaccine for humans. So, taking simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites is the key to reducing your risk for infection,” said UDOH epidemiologist JoDee Baker.
While most people who are infected with the virus won’t notice any symptoms, some may have flu-like symptoms or worse. The elderly and people with poor immune systems are at higher risk for symptomatic disease.
The most serious cases can lead to hospitalization, disability, or death. Symptoms of the severe form of West Nile virus include: high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, disorientation and confusion. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a healthcare provider immediately.
The mosquitoes that carry the virus are typically out from dusk to dawn. When you’re outdoors during those times, it’s important to follow these guidelines:
- Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than two months of age.
- Wear long sleeved shirts and pants while outdoors.
- Remove any puddles or standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed, including birdbaths, swimming/wading pools, old tires, buckets and plant containers.
- Report bodies of stagnant water to the local Mosquito Abatement District (MAD). Visithttp://www.umaa.org/ for a list of MADs.
- Contact a veterinarian for information on vaccinating horses.
Story Posted on: 11:20 am, August 21, 2013, by David Wells, updated on: 11:22am, August 21, 2013