A Utah State prison is ground zero of the West Nile Virus which was found in the local mosquitoes. 

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah State Correctional Facility is on a “prime mosquito habitat”. However, this issue isn’t new, and staff and inmates alike have been overwhelmed with the pests since 2022.  

There have not yet been any reported cases of West Nile cases in people at the prison, but precautions are being taken. Staff and inmates are encouraged to apply bug repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants with closed-toed shoes.  

Some symptoms of the West Nile Virus in humans include: 

  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Neck Stiffness 
  • Stupor  
  • Disorientation 
  • Tremors 
  • Coma 
  • Convulsions 
  • Vision Loss 
  • Paralysis  
  • Numbness 

These are the more severe that some people could get the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The CDC also said there are no vaccines for the West Nile virus and antibiotics can’t treat this. The best thing for treatment is to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and maybe grab some over-the-counter pain medication which might alleviate a few of the symptoms.  

In some cases, those infected with the West Nile virus have to be hospitalized to receive “supportive treatment”. 

As awful as this virus is and the repercussions from getting it, once someone has been infected, they have a sort of natural immunity.  

Most people infected with West Nile virus are believed to have lifelong immunity from getting the disease again. Some people who have weakened immune systems from certain conditions or medications might not have a strong immune response to the initial infection or their immunity may wane over time. However, most people are protected from getting West Nile virus disease again once they have had it.”—CDC 

The Utah State Correctional Facility is working to get this under control with the assistance of UT lawmakers. A total of $300,000 has been put toward fixing this issue, the SLT said.  

As this is a developing story, we will update this piece as news is released.  

If you or someone else you know believes they may have the West Nile virus, seek medical help immediately.  

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