SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Salt Lake County Health Department announced the first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in the county on Sept. 15. The infected individual is an adult diagnosed with neuroinvasive West Nile virus, a more severe form of the disease. The individual remains hospitalized.

This is the fourth confirmed case in the state with two cases confirmed by the Tri-County Health District and one in the Weber-Morgan Health District.

At least three mosquito abatement districts have detected West Nile in Salt Lake County throughout 77 mosquito pools. “Mosquito pool” is a term used for a group of mosquitos caught and tested from a single trap – it does not refer to standing bodies of water.

The SLCoHD is encouraging residents to be aware and take precautions against mosquito bites and minimize exposure opportunities during mosquito season which continues through the first hard freeze.

“There are a growing number of mosquitoes carrying the disease,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, SLCoHD executive director, “so it is now especially important that people protect themselves from mosquito bites, particularly in the hours from dusk to dawn.”

There is no way for residents to tell which mosquitos may be infected with WNV so the health department suggests the following:

  • Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus; follow package directions about application.
  • After dusk, wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Drain standing water in yards (old tires, potted plant trays, pet dishes, toys, buckets, etc.).
  • Keep roof gutters clear of debris.
  • Clean and stock garden ponds with mosquito-eating fish or mosquito dunks.
  • Ensure door and window screens are in good condition so mosquitoes cannot get inside.
  • Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.