The West Nile Virus has been running rampant across the U.S., and now Utah County is warning, it's there too.
"We just recently discovered a batch of mosquitoes in the Provo area that tested positive for the West Nile Virus," said Lance Madigan with the Utah Co. Health Department.
Madigan said they usually detect the virus in mosquitoes 2 weeks before they start seeing human cases. The first batch of bugs to test positive came in this week.
"They're basically ground up, and a DNA test is done on them to see if the presence of the virus is there and that tells us that they could potentially transmit it to humans," Madigan said.
The disease actually comes from birds, but is transmitted by mosquitoes, and can be deadly. People across the state have outdoor plans this weekend. Couple that with the rain, which leads to standing water, and we could end up mosquito food. Madigan said we all need to be vigilant.
"We haven't seen a lot of mosquitoes but the ones that we've seen are the ones that transmit the disease so they need to protect themselves," he said.
Only one person has contracted the virus here in Utah this year. But Utah County said it’s better to be safe than sorry. So how can you protect yourself?
First, mosquitoes love to go out at night, between dusk and dawn, so avoid going out at night if you can. You should also stock up on bug repellent, and make sure it has deet. Finally, get rid of any standing water around your home. That is prime real estate for breeding mosquitoes
For information about West Nile Virus, or Utah county mosquito abatement efforts, click here www.utahcountyhealth.org.