Health District reports first human West Nile case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 23, 2016
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting its first human case of West Nile virus in Southern Nevada in 2016. The individual, a female over the age of 50, was hospitalized with the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness and has since been released. The Health District will not provide additional information regarding this individual. There was one reported West Nile case in 2015. Additional updated information is posted on the Health District website: West Nile Surveillance.
The Vector Surveillance Program has identified West Nile-positive mosquitoes in the 89027, 89032, and 89117 ZIP codes in 2016. Additionally, a horse in the 89021 ZIP code has tested positive for West Nile virus. Horses, like people, are susceptible to the virus through the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile positive mosquitoes have been identified throughout Clark County each year since 2004.
“A confirmed case of West Nile virus in a Southern Nevada resident is an important reminder to everyone to take preventive measures against mosquito bites whether they are at home or traveling,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Health District. “Everyone can take simple steps to eliminate mosquito breeding sources around the home to protect themselves and their families.”
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.
In addition to West Nile virus, mosquitoes are also tested for Western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis. In 2016, the Health District’s Vector Surveillance Program has identified St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE)-positive mosquito pools in the 89002, 89005, 89011, 89012, 89014, 89030, 89074, 89081, 89101, 89103, 89104, 89107, 89108, 89117, 89118, 89119, 89120, 89121, 89122, 89123, 89128, 89130, 89131, 89134, 89135, 89143, 89144, 89145, 89146, 89147, 89149, and 89191 ZIP codes. There have been no confirmed human cases of St. Louis Encephalitis in Clark County since 2007. For information about prevention tips, visit the Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance page.
For information on eliminating breeding sources visit the CDC’s Controlling Mosquitoes at Home.
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.