2nd case of West Nile Virus for 2017 found in Clark County resident

LAS VEGAS - The Southern Nevada Health District reported Thursday the second case of West Nile virus in a Clark County resident in 2017.

SNHD officials said a woman over 50, has the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness. The county’s first case of West Nile virus was reported in May. The patient, a man over the age of 50, died from the illness.

There were two reported West Nile cases and three cases of St. Louis Encephalitis, a similar mosquito-borne illness, in 2016.

“An additional report of serious illness serves as a reminder to our community of the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Health District. “Mosquitoes are still quite active in Southern Nevada. We urge everyone to take simple steps to eliminate mosquito breeding sources around their homes to protect themselves, their families, and communities.”

The Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program tests mosquito pools for West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Western Equine Encephalitis. This season, 1,763 mosquito traps have been set, and 40,801 mosquitoes were submitted to the Nevada Department of Agriculture Animal Disease Laboratory for analysis.

The program revealed that 14 ZIP codes in Clark County had West Nile virus-positive mosquito pools. St. Louis Encephalitis-positive and Western Equine Encephalitis-positive mosquito pools have also been identified in one ZIP code each within Clark County. The program also conducts surveillance for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the species that can transmit Zika and other viruses. This species was identified in Clark County this season. To date, none have tested positive for Zika.

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 recommends the following to prevent mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sources:

*Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 2-undecanone.

*Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts to reduce mosquito exposure when outdoors.

*Eliminate areas of standing water around your home, including non-circulating ponds, “green” swimming pools, and accumulated sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.

Additional prevention tips are available on the CDC’s Prevent Mosquito Bites webpage.


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