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West Nile virus detected in multiple Utah counties

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Syed Ali
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While no human or animal cases have been reported, the West Nile virus has been detected throughout Utah. The Utah Department of Health and Human Services are urging residents to take protective measures against any potential mosquito bites.

The virus has been detected in several counties across the state including Salt Lake, Uintah, and Davis counties. Officials say that even though there are no reported cases as of now, risk for the virus still exists.

Officials say that people who get infected with West Nile virus typically show no symptoms, but some have shown to have flu-like symptoms. For those experiencing severe symptoms, people can experience severe headaches, a stiff neck, disorientation, and high fevers. In rare cases, these symptoms can lead to hospitalization and potentially death.

Utah residents are being warned to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long pants and long-sleeve shirts when outside from dusk to dawn, the time when mosquitoes are most active. Bug repellent is greatly encouraged.

Utah DHHS vector borne/zoonotic epidemiologist Hanna Rettler says that West Nile virus has an annual presence in Utah and won’t be going away, so it’s best to protect yourself from it and work to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home.