DPH raises alert for West Nile virus statewide

Pearl Mccarthy
August 22, 2018

Officials in Tooele County said Monday that mosquitos collected in Stansbury Park have tested positive for the West Nile virus. "Wear long sleeves, wear long trousers to try and minimize your exposure to these mosquitoes".

This is only the second time that public health officials have raised the risk level statewide.

'The few cases of West Nile virus diagnosed in the United Kingdom have been due to insect bites overseas and the risk of contracting the infection in this country is low'.

West Nile Virus is a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae and it is commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and West Asia. The first human case in IL is not usually reported until July or later.

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There is no human vaccine for the virus.

Given the favourable weather conditions this season, the virus may spread to new areas, thus affecting new populations never exposed to the virus before. "Move indoors if you are getting bitten". Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas.

Last year, the Spokane Regional Health District confirmed eight people in the county had the virus. In rare cases, WNV can cause severe disease with symptoms such as disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, inflammation of the brain, and coma. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

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