Second and third Grand County residents contract West Nile

Courtesy photo

Two more Grand County residents were recently diagnosed with West Nile virus, according to Brittney Garff, the public information officer for the Southeast Utah Health Department.

“Reminder to all: Mosquito bites can be very bad. We now have two confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Grand County,” wrote Garff in an email. The first person diagnosed earlier this month contracted the less severe form, which usually mimics flu-like symptoms such as headache and body aches. The more severe form can lead to encephalitis or meningitis and take weeks if not months for the symptoms to go away.

Officials said the second and third persons to become sick each have the lesser strain of the virus. Officials would not divulge the age or residential location of the victims.

“Please stay safe when outdoors and avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves that are brightly colored, long pants, and repellent. Use Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients DEET: Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and Icaridin outside the U.S.), IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), 2-undecanone. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is especially important to prevent night mosquito bites by having good window screens and by using a screened tent if sleeping outside,” she said.

Garff also urged people to remove stagnant water, such as water in unmaintained swimming pools, hot tubs, wading pools, water-filled buckets, livestock water troughs, and flood-irrigated fields, which will reduce mosquito populations.