Utahn dies of West Nile virus, health officials say

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A person who contracted West Nile virus this year has died.

The Utah Department of Health said there are 19 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus across Central, Southwest, Southeastern, Salt Lake, Davis, and TriCounty health jurisdictions.

In one of those cases, the patient died from the infection, officials said.

The health department released a report on September 28 with the latest numbers associated with the disease across the state.

Five West Nile virus-positive mosquito pools were identified this past week in Salt Lake County resulting in 271 total positive pools across the state for 2019.

A positive crow was found in Davis County, one positive horse in Sevier County, and one positive horse was reported from Juab County.

WNV is most commonly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people (70-80%) who become infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms. Other symptoms include headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Less than 1% of people infected will develop a serious neurologic illness, such as meningitis.

The best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. The CDC says you should use insect repellant, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, avoid being outside during dawn and dusk.

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