West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes across Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE CITY — West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes in multiple populations within Salt Lake County, officials said Monday.

No human cases of the virus have been confirmed in the county, according to a news release from the Salt Lake County Health Department.

“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,” Dr. Dagmar Vitek, the health department’s medical director, said in the release.

The county’s release did not identify specific areas where the virus has been detected. Mosquito abatement districts across the county have been trapping and testing mosquito samples from various mosquito pools, or populations, across the county, the release says.

However, the South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District detected the presence of the virus in mosquito populations near Riverton, according to a Monday tweet from Riverton City government.

At least one other area has also detected West Nile Virus in mosquitoes so far this summer. Officials in the Uintah Basin announced in July that the virus was found in mosquito pools there, but no human cases were reported.

People are advised to take precautions to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes and their risk to the virus, the health department’s release said.

People should use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus that has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Long sleeves and pants are recommended after dark.

People should also drain standing water in yards or gardens, keep gutters clear of debris, and clean and stock garden ponds with mosquito-eating fish or mosquito dunks. Window and door screens should also be kept in good condition to keep mosquitoes out of homes, and weeds and tall grasses should be kept short, the release says.

Jacob Klopfenstein

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