The Southern Nevada Health District reported the first case of West Nile virus in a human this year.
The health district said a man over 50 years old contracted the more serious, neuroinvasive form of the illness.
There were nine cases reported in 2013.
The health district has identified West Nile-positive mosquito pools in the 89014, 89120, 89123, 89131, 89134, 89143, 89144, 89145, 89146, 89103, 89107, 89129, 89138 and 89149 zip codes.
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, the health district said.
West Nile virus can be prevented by using insect repellents and eliminating sources of standing water, which support mosquito breeding. Residents can report green swimming pools and standing or stagnant water sources to local code enforcement agencies, the health district said.
The health district recommends the following to prevent mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sources:
- Apply an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) according to manufacturer’s directions. Repellents containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus also have some efficacy. However, DEET is the best-studied and most-effective repellent available.
- Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, when outdoors.
- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, notably at dusk (the first two hours after sunset) and dawn.
- Eliminate areas of standing water, including bird baths, “green” swimming pools and sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.
For information visit the health district’s website: http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/west-nile/index.php.
Contact Wesley Juhl at firstname.lastname@example.org and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl.