Cache County's got the bug but no one has the fever.

Mosquitoes from standing pools of water in three towns — including Logan — have tested positive for West Nile virus the first time this summer. So far, no human has been infected by the virus, which is usually transferred by the common, garden-variety mosquito — which has picked up the microbe at the insect's favorite hangout, the common, garden-variety small pond or puddle of water.

The usual tracking of possible disease is done by checking sites around the valley known for post-rainstorm pooling. Standing water very quickly becomes the ideal breeding ground for all kinds of toxic and robust little live things.

Department environmental scientist Grant Koford said the diseased pools in Logan, Wellsville and Young Ward were found by health officials doing their usual trapping and testing of mosquitoes this time of year at 14 heavy puddling locations across the county. Sentinel chicken flocks are also tested.

Chances are excellent that there are more infected mosquitoes than those trapped and tested by health officials, and they will be out early mornings and evenings shopping for human blood. An infected mosquito actually has two bites — the one on the skin that passes on the virus through the blood withdrawal and when the virus starts to feed inside your body. The microbe creates severe flu-like symptoms and other maladies many times more annoying than an itch.

Residents should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. They should also apply insect repellent that contains DEET, eucalyptus, oil of lemon or IR3535.

The West Nile season is barely half over, so people should make sure they aren't providing an open invitation to the mosquitoes to meet and make little mosquitoes by making sure anything that might serve to pool or hold standing water is removed from the yard.

Three cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Utah so far this summer. Across the United States as of last week, 43 cases in 14 states have been confirmed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additionally, 368 dead crows and 79 other dead birds with West Nile virus have been reported in eight states, according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report also notes West Nile infections have been confirmed in horses in eight states and Puerto Rico, and that West Nile virus seroconversions have been reported in 37 chicken flocks in Arizona, California and Florida.


E-mail: jthalman@desnews.com