LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting a case of West Nile virus in a male over the age of 50 who has the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness. This is the first human case of West Nile illness in Clark County in 2015. There were two cases reported in 2014. Additional updated information will be posted on the Health District website: http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/stats-reports/west-nile-virus.php
For 2015, the Southern Nevada Health District has reported West Nile positive mosquitoes collected in 22 local zip codes so far: 89011, 89012, 89014, 89025, 89027, 89029, 89031, 89074, 89107, 89113, 89117, 89118, 89119, 89123, 89128, 89129, 89130, 89131, 89134, 89143, 89146 and 89147.
West Nile virus can be prevented by using insect repellants and eliminating sources of standing water that support mosquito breeding. For information about prevention tips, visit the health district’s West Nile virus pages on its website: http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/west-nile/index.php
West Nile virus is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes that have acquired the virus by feeding on infected birds. The illness is not spread person to person. Many people with the virus will have no symptoms or very mild clinical symptoms of illness. Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back. In some cases the virus can cause severe neurologic illness and even death.
The Health District’s environmental health specialists routinely survey known breeding sources for mosquitoes and trap them for identification and disease analysis. Residents can report green swimming pools and standing or stagnant water sources to local code enforcement agencies. Contact information for local jurisdictions’ code enforcement is available on the Health District website at: http://southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/forms/mosquito.php.
In addition to West Nile virus, mosquitoes are also tested for Western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis.
The Health District recommends the following to prevent mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sources:
- Apply an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) according to manufacturer’s directions. Repellents containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus also have some efficacy. However, DEET is the best-studied and most-effective repellant available.
- Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.
- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, notably at dusk (the first two hours after sunset) and dawn.
- Eliminate areas of standing water, including bird baths, “green” swimming pools, and sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.
Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict or Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo. The health district is now available in Spanish on Twitter www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404.