PROVO — The Utah County Health Department has confirmed that it has identified the first human case of West Nile Virus in the state.
The agency says it’s unclear whether the person was bitten by a mosquito in Utah or in a different state.
BREAKING: Utah's first West Nile Virus case of 2018 found in a Utah County resident. Summer is almost over, but you should still take steps to protect yourself. pic.twitter.com/gRxgpDwoN6
— UtahCountyHealthDept (@UCHD) August 16, 2018
“The individual was traveling during the time that they could have picked up West Nile Virus,” says Utah County Health Department spokesperson Aislynn Tolman-Hill.
Tolman-Hill is surprised it has taken this long for the first human case to be found.
“Over the last five years, we’ve seen about 18 human cases a year,” says Tolman-Hill. “Last year, we had 17 in the state. We had quite a few in Utah County, we had seven cases.”
Tolman-Hill reminds people that not everyone who gets West Nile shows symptoms.
Common mild cases of the virus can bring flu-like symptoms and in rare severe cases, could potentially lead to neurological problems.
The County Health Department encourages people to take precautions to avoid exposure, including using bug spray, wearing long sleeves, as well as long pants, and checking your property for standing water.
For more information on West Nile Virus from your county, visit one of the following pages: