PROVO — Utah’s first human case of West Nile virus this year has been confirmed in Utah County, according to the Utah County Health Department.
Health officials do not know whether the person contracted the virus in Utah County or while traveling, according to a statement issued by the department Thursday.
Officials are encouraging people to take measures to avoid exposure to the virus. Ways to help prevent mosquito exposure include draining standing water that collects in items such as buckets, unused flower pots and toys outside; staying inside between dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are active; wearing long sleeves and pants when outside; using insect repellant with DEET; and keeping door and window screens in good condition, according to the release.
The department says Utah has seen fewer human cases of the virus this year than last year, with 17 recorded human cases in the state by this time in 2017.
There are no vaccines or medications to prevent or treat the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but only about 1 in 150 people with the virus develop a serious illness.
The symptoms, which appear within three to 14 days, include fever, headache and body aches. Severe infections might bring high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions, the health department said, encouraging people to contact their health providers if they experience symptoms of West Nile virus.