Health District reports additional West Nile case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 15, 2013
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting an additional case of West Nile illness in an adult, over the age of 50 who is hospitalized with the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness. This is the fifth case reported in Clark County in 2013. In addition, West Nile positive mosquitoes have been detected in the 89122 zip code.
Since July 3, the health district has reported four previous cases of West Nile-related illnesses; one patient has died. This is the fifth West Nile-related death in Clark County since 2003. Most cases of West Nile virus occur during the summer months. West Nile positive mosquitoes have also been detected in the 89014 zip code.
In 2012, the health district received reports of eight people who had been infected with West Nile virus, one of whom died. The health district reminds Southern Nevadans and visitors to take precautions to prevent West Nile virus infection.
West Nile virus can be prevented by using insect repellants and eliminating sources of standing water which 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 bite of infected mosquitoes, which acquire 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 illness and even death. In 2011, Nevada reported 16 cases, 11 of which were in Clark County. There were no human cases of West Nile virus were reported in Clark County in 2010.
The health district’s environmental health specialists routinely survey known breeding sources for mosquitoes and trap them for identification. However, the health district is no longer treating breeding sources on private property, such as green pools. Residents can now 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.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.