First came the flood, now the plague of insects.
Public health officials are warning Moapa Valley residents about the potential for an increase in mosquitoes as a result of Sept. 8 flash flooding that swamped houses and destroyed a stretch of Interstate 15.
Standing water left behind by the flood could serve as a breeding ground for the blood-sucking bugs, some of which might carry West Nile virus.
Eighty percent of the people who contract West Nile never have symptoms. The less dangerous form of the virus can produce symptoms similar to the common cold, while the severe form, seen in about one in 150 cases, can cause high fever, coma, paralysis and even death.
Recently, the Southern Nevada Health District identified West Nile positive mosquitoes in 23 zip codes throughout Clark County including zip codes in the Moapa area.
Officials from the health district and Clark County’s Office of Emergency Management will host two community meetings Monday in Moapa Valley to discuss mosquito awareness and abatement and how residents can protect themselves from West Nile infection.
The first meeting will be at 3 p.m. at the Moapa Valley Community Center in Overton and the second at 6 p.m. at the Moapa Community Center in Moapa.
Additional information on West Nile virus prevention is available on the health district website, http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/west-nile/prevention.php.
I-15 through the Moapa Valley was closed for several days after the 100-year flood event demolished portions of the road.
Crews worked around the clock to repair the interstate, and the road reopened in both directions on Thursday, ending a long detour for commercial trucks.
About 25,000 vehicles, including hundreds of commercial operators, use that stretch of I-15 every day.
Contact Henry Brean at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0350. Find him on Twitter: @RefriedBrean.