Woman, man contract West Nile virus in Las Vegas

A 60-year-old woman has fallen severely ill from the West Nile virus, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

The woman, whose identity and residence are being withheld, was hospitalized.

A 70-year-old man also contracted the disease but his condition was not as serious and he was not hospitalized, according to Stephanie Bethel, the public information officer for the health district.

They are the first West Nile virus cases of the year in the Las Vegas Valley.

The infected mosquitoes with the virus are being reported in the 89014 ZIP code, which includes the Whitney Ranch and Green Valley North neighborhoods.

Last year, one person died from the virus and seven others fell ill in Clark County, Bethel said.

The health district is reminding residents and tourists to take precautions to prevent infection, which would include wearing long sleeves and pants, using mosquito repellent and staying away from pools of standing water.

Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds. The virus cannot be passed from one person to another, the health district said.

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.

Contact reporter Tom Ragan at tragan@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5512.

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