A local woman recently was infected by a “serious neuroinvasive form” of West Nile virus, marking the second reported case of the mosquito-borne illness this year in Southern Nevada, the Health District announced Monday.
The woman, who the agency said is younger than 50, has been hospitalized, though her condition as of Monday was unknown.
The first such case of the year in Southern Nevada was reported in April. The victim in that case, a woman over 50, has since recovered, according to the Health District.
There were no human cases of West Nile Virus, which is spread through the bites of infected mosquitos, in Clark County last year. The mosquitos acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.
The health district’s mosquito-surveillance program regularly sets traps at pools of standing water across Clark County. As of Friday, the agency said, it had identified West Nile-positive pools in the 89005, 89032, 89101, 89110, 89123, 89129, 89131 and 89139 ZIP codes.
“With a second case of West Nile virus, it is important to remind everyone that this is a preventable disease,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “By taking some simple steps, you can protect yourself from mosquito bites at home and when you are traveling this summer. It’s also important to eliminate mosquito breeding around your home to protect yourself and your family.”
The symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back, according to the health district. In some cases, the virus can cause severe neurological illness and death.
To prevent mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito breeding sources, the health district recommends:
— Using insect repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency that contain DEET, picaridin, IR 3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or 2-Undecanone.
— Wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts to reduce mosquito exposure when outdoors.
— Eliminating areas of standing water around your home, including non-circulating ponds, “green” swimming pools and accumulated sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.