Another Utahn catches West Nile virus, which is spreading

Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist Nadja Reissen examines a mosquito Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Salt Lake City. A number of counties in Utah are reporting mosquito populations carrying West Nile virus following a spring with weather conditions that allowed the pests to flourish. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A third person has been infected with the West Nile virus in Grand County, and the virus has been been found in mosquitoes in Utah County — although there have been no reports of human cases there.

The infected person in Grand County — whose identity was not revealed — has not been hospitalized and does not appear to have the more serious neuroinvasive form of the virus, which is potentially fatal, according to the Southeast Utah Health Department

So far in 2019, human cases have also been reported in Salt Lake, Uintah and Washington counties; there have been no fatalities. The virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Box Elder, Davis, Sevier and Weber counties, but there have been no human cases there.

“While Utah County does not currently have any confirmed human cases of West Nile virus, this is a great reminder to residents of the importance of taking steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes,” said Utah County Health Department executive director Ralph Clegg.

The health department recommends Utahns drain standing water; avoid being outside at dawn and dusk; wear long sleeves and pants outside; use insect repellent that contains DEET; and make sure door and window screens are in good repair.

Symptoms of West Nile virus appear 3 to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito and include fever, headache and body aches, according to the health department. Severe infections may include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions. It is estimated that less than 1% of people infected with West Nile will develop severe infection, which can result in debilitating long-term complications or death.