The Southern Nevada Health District has identified the first West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes of the season, the agency reported in a news release.
A woman in her 50s suffered the more serious form of the illness. She was stricken in April and has recovered, the health district said.
The West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes were found in the Boulder City area southeast of Las Vegas.
There were no reported human cases of West Nile virus in Clark County last year.
“We know that there is an increased risk for West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses in Southern Nevada during this time of the year,” said Dr. Joe Iser, chief health officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “I would encourage everyone to take the appropriate precautions to do their part to ensure their homes are free of standing water, use insect repellent appropriately and to report mosquito activity to our agency.”
West Nile virus is most commonly spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes that have acquired the virus by feeding on infected birds.
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 neurological illness and even death.
The Southern Nevada Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program regularly tests mosquito pools for West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis and Western Equine encephalitis. As of May 31, Health District staff has set 711 traps throughout Clark County with 7,759 mosquitoes submitted to the Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory for analysis.