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The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the 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 cannot 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 Health District and the CDC advise everyone to take the following steps at home or if traveling:
For more information on eliminating breeding sources, visit the CDC’s Controlling Mosquitoes at Home page for a list of tips.
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.”
Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds. The illness is not spread from 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.
Ongoing surveillance by the Health District has not detected Aedes albopictus or Aedes aegypti, the species known to spread the Zika virus as well as chikungunya and dengue. For information about prevention tips, visit the Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance page.
In addition to Zika, West Nile virus, and St. Louis Encephalitis, the Southern Nevada Health District’s Vector Surveillance Program regularly tests mosquito pools for Western Equine Encephalitis, which is occasionally identified in Clark County. 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.
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, and Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.
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