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West Nile virus discovered in Sevier County



AURORA, Sevier County – Health officials call for caution after discovering the West Nile virus in testing in central Utah, Salina said Nate Selin, deputy director of the Central Utah Health Department. He said that the Sevier County Abatement department had carried out the tests and he was not sure when the water had been collected or how long the test process took, but the department was informed of the positive outcome on late Thursday.

The announcement comes two weeks after officials from the Moab Mosquito Abatement District discovered the virus in mosquitoes from the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve in Moab. This was the first time the virus was discovered in Utah this year.

So far, no cases of the virus were reported in humans in 201

9. In 2018, the first cases were reported in northern Utah, involving Box Elder, Davis, Uintah, and Cache Counties, which begin in mid-July.

Selin said that this is usually the season when the virus is found in mosquitoes. However, it is not common in Central Utah.

"It's not something we have not seen much in Sevier County and in our mosquito pool, so this is a bit (rarer) for us in our county," he said. "But we have had cases – or at least mosquito pools – that have been positively noticed in the state, and this is the season for doing so."

Most people who get the virus, therefore, develop no symptoms the centers for the control and prevention of diseases. About 1 in 5 develop headaches, body aches, joint pains and other symptoms, and about 1 in 150 people develop severe symptoms such as high fever, stupor, disorientation and tremors.

The virus can also be deadly. In 2018, the Department of Health of Utah reported a death related to West Nile. In 2017, Hillcreast high school football coach Cazzie Brown died of complications after becoming infected with the West Nile virus.

To prevent the mosquito from spreading to the virus, the CDC recommends using DEET-containing insect repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and removing stagnant water once a week from items such as buckets and bird baths.

Carter Williams

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