Health District detects West Nile in mosquitoes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 16, 2015
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the first West Nile positive mosquitoes of 2015, collected in the 89011, 89012, 89027, 89107, 89123, 89128, 89134 and 89146 zip codes. To date, there are no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Clark County. Last year, the Health District received reports of two people who had been infected with West Nile virus. There were no reported deaths. With the identification of positive mosquitoes in Clark County it is likely that West Nile virus infected mosquitoes are present throughout the valley and precautions against the disease are recommended for all residents and visitors. Updated information will be posted on the Health District’s website as it becomes available: http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/stats-reports/west-nile-virus.php.
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
“We encourage our residents to ‘fight the bite’ by using insect repellants, wearing protective clothing, and limiting their outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District.
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. 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.
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.