Health experts warn Utahns to protect themselves from West Nile virus this mosquito season

From Desert News Utah
June 9, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s mosquito season has begun, and the Utah Department of Health is advising people to take extra precaution after last summer’s increase in West Nile virus cases.

Dallin Peterson, an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, said human West Nile virus cases last year reached Utah’s highest number in a decade, with 62 people who tested positive and five who died from the virus. Peterson said Utah usually only records about 10 cases of the virus a year.

Though there’s no clear factor causing an increase in mosquitoes and West Nile virus cases, Peterson said, wet springs and hot summers play a significant role in mosquito populations.

The state Department of Health oversees mosquito research with laboratory work and coordination with zoos, blood donation centers and other departments to track signs of West Nile virus in animals and people.

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