Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in Henderson

The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the first West Nile-positive mosquitoes of 2013, collected in the 89014 zip code, which covers parts of Henderson.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Clark County, the health department said in a news release. Last year, the health district received reports of eight people who had been infected with West Nile virus, one of whom died.

With the identification of positive mosquitoes in one area of 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.

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.

In 2011, Nevada reported 16 cases, 11 of which were in Clark County. There were no human cases of West Nile virus were reported in Clark County in 2010.

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.