Health District reports first human West Nile case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:3 September, 2014
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting a case of West Nile virus in a male over the age of 50 with the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness. This is the first human case of West Nile illness in Clark County in 2014. There were nine cases reported in 2013. The health district has identified additional positive mosquito pools in the 89014, 89120, 89123, 89131, 89134, 89143, 89144, 89145, and 89146 zip codes. Additional updated information will be posted on the health district website: http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/stats-reports/west-nile-virus.php.
Previously, the Southern Nevada Health District reported West Nile positive mosquitoes collected in the 89103, 89107, 89129, 89138, and 89149 zip codes.
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.
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.
Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.