OGDEN -- As of right now, there are no active mosquito pools in Northern Utah, but experts urge people to not get complacent.
"We can breathe a sigh of relief for just a moment," said Lori Buttars, Weber-Morgan Health Department public relations director.
"The number of mosquitoes who carry the West Nile virus is increasing, and we need to be taking all of the necessary precautions."
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Utah is one of eight states reported to have nonhuman exposure to the West Nile virus. Right now, it's in the southern portion of the state.
"If you have a horse, there is a vaccine available for West Nile virus," Buttars said. "It's really an expensive choice not to get the animal vaccinated, because it (West Nile virus) really makes the animal sick. It's also most likely going to be fatal if it develops West Nile."
The Utah Department of Health also reports that dogs and cats can become infected but usually show no signs of illness. If they do, they will usually recover completely. Right now, there is no vaccine available for household pets or humans.
West Nile virus is most commonly spread by a bite from an infected mosquito. Most people who are bitten will not show any signs or symptoms, or if they do, the symptoms may be relatively mild and include fever, body aches, nausea and swollen lymph glands.
However, in some people, the disease can cause severe symptoms, such as a high fever, stiff neck, severe headache, confusion, convulsions, partial paralysis and coma.
"It typically takes between three to 14 days to show symptoms after being bitten," Buttars said. "And some of the serious symptoms can last for months and months."
The disease was discovered in Utah for the first time in 2003, according to the Utah Department of Health. Since that time, 330 people have been sickened by the virus.
People are encouraged to wear insect repellent containing DEET, especially from dusk until dawn, when West Nile virus mosquitoes are most active.
In addition, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors and remove any standing water around the home.
* Mosquitoes ingest less than one drop of blood during a feeding.
* Genetics account for 85 percent of a person's susceptibility to mosquito bites.
* Mosquitoes are drawn to the carbon dioxide we exhale.
* If you're pregnant, you emit more carbon dioxide, plus your abdomen has a higher temperature than usual, drawing mosquitoes right to you.
* Drink beer? Wear your DEET. Alcohol changes your skin chemistry, luring mosquitoes.
* Wash your feet. Smelly ones attract mosquitoes.
* Keep your yard groomed. Overgrown vegetation and stagnant water are great mosquito attractions.
* Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes.
* Movement increased mosquito biting up to 50 percent in some research tests.
* A full moon increased mosquito activity 500 percent in one study.
Source: Reader's Digest, American Mosquito Control Association