In a statement released to the press, the Southeast Utah Health Department reported that there are now two confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Grand County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. While most of those infected with the virus have no symptoms, some people develop a serious illness that causes fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, or rash.
Humans with the virus are not contagious and cannot spread the disease directly to others, according to the CDC.
The Southeast Utah Health Department recommends avoiding mosquito bites by “wearing long sleeves that are brightly colored, long pants, and repellent,” particularly Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and Icaridin outside the US), IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, Para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is especially important to prevent night mosquito bites by having good window screens and by using a screened tent if sleeping outside.
Removing stagnant water, such as water in unmaintained swimming pools, hot tubs, wading pools, water-filled buckets, livestock water troughs, and flood-irrigated fields will reduce mosquito populations.
Contact the Southeast Utah Health Department at (435) 259-5602 for more information.