Utah’s first West Nile death of 2019 confirmed by health officials

(Rick Bowmer | AP file photo) Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist Nadja Reissen examines a mosquito in Salt Lake City on Aug. 26, 2019. Utah has reported its first death in 2019 from West Nile virus.

Utah health officials are confirming a death from West Nile Virus.

In its weekly report, the Utah Department of Health identified one death related to the mosquito-borne illness.

Nineteen cases have been reported statewide, according to the report.

In 2018, 11 residents contracted the virus and one person died. Symptoms can include headaches, joint pains and a high fever — but 70% to 80% of people who are infected develop no symptoms, health officials said.

“Less than 1% of people infected will develop a serious neurologic illness, such as meningitis,” the report states.

State health officials have said mosquitos may enjoy more habitat this year than last, thanks to an increase in precipitation.