Utah sees first death from West Nile virus in 2018

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There have been no reported human cases in the area.

Authorities again reminded residents and visitors Thursday to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and limit their exposure to West Nile and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

The first North American cases of West Nile were detected in New York City in 1999 and since then, it has established itself in the continental United States and Canada, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control says. Horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarians for information about equine vaccines for West Nile virus. This is more likely to occur in those over 50 years of age and those with medical conditions or weakened immune systems, according to public health officials.

"It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause a severe illness, so take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours, which are dusk and dawn for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus".

Interior Health said the risk of infection from handling birds is very low; however, you should not use your bare hands to handle wild birds (dead or alive).

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West Nile virus has been spreading widely in recent years, while it has been established in Greece following an increase in mosquito populations migrating from Africa.

Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than one percent of mosquitoes carry WNV.

Install screens on windows.

Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other EPA approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always following the manufacturer's directions for use. Although it may be hard to do when it's hot, wearing long-sleeves, long trousers and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

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