Two new West Nile virus cases bring 2019 total to 8

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two new cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Clark County, bringing the year’s total to eight.

Six of the eight West Nile cases reported to the Southern Nevada Health District involved the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness. Both new cases are the neuroinvasive form. One individual is a female over the age of 50, and the other is a male under the age of 50.

No cases were reported in Southern Nevada in 2018.

Most people infected with West Nile virus do not develop symptoms. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever and symptoms that can include headache, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash, the district said.

People with mild illness typically recover completely but may experience fatigue and weakness that can last for a few weeks or months.

About one in 150 people who are infected develop more severe illness that can cause encephalitis or meningitis. Symptoms of severe illness can include high fever, headache, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, paralysis, and coma.

Those more at risk include people over the age of 60, people with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants.

The Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program is also reporting 30 additional West Nile virus-positive mosquito submissions in 15 ZIP codes. West Nile virus was detected for the first time in eight of these ZIP codes. St. Louis Encephalitis virus-positive mosquitoes continue to be detected in ZIP codes in Clark County.

The public is urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sources around their homes. Tips include:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below.
    • DEET
    • Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • 2-undecanone
  • Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.
  • Eliminate areas of standing water, including birdbaths, “green” swimming pools, and sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.

For more information and prevention tips visit the Health District’s website at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/Health-Topics/west-nile-virus/. For updated surveillance information go to www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/news-info/statistics-surveillance-reports/west-nile-virus-surveillance/.

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