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July 19, 2017

WNV Detected In Multiple Salt Lake County Mosquito Pools

Pam Davenport - Email

Nicholas Rupp - Email

(Salt Lake County) – The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) has confirmed that
West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in multiple mosquito pools* within Salt Lake County boundaries. Public health officials are urging residents to take precautionary measures to avoid exposure to the virus.

Local Mosquito Abatement Districts (MADs) have been trapping and collecting mosquito samples at numerous locations throughout Salt Lake County.

“We currently do not have any confirmed human cases of West Nile virus reported in Salt Lake County, but this is a good reminder that it is now especially important that residents protect themselves from mosquito bites, particularly in the hours from dusk to dawn,” explained Ilene Risk, SLCoHD epidemiology bureau manager.

Although only some mosquitoes carry WNV, it is important to minimize your exposure during mosquito season:

  • Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus; follow package directions about application.
  • Drain standing water in yards (old tires, potted plant trays, pet dishes, toys, buckets, etc.).
  • Wear long sleeves and pants after dusk.
  • Keep roof gutters clear of debris.
  • Clean swimming pools often or drain them.
  • Clean and stock garden ponds with mosquito-eating fish or mosquito dunks.
  • Make sure doors and window screens are in good condition so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors.
  • Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.

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.  

*"Mosquito pool" is the term used for a group of mosquitoes caught and tested out of a single trap.