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Health District reports sixth West Nile case in Clark County

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Updated: 10/09/2012 10:47 am
LAS VEGAS -- The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting an additional case of West Nile virus in a 38-year-old Clark County man with the less serious form of the illness.

This brings the number of 2012 West Nile cases in Clark County to six.

Among the five previously reported cases, one patient had a less serious form of the illness and all were hospitalized.

One patient has died and one remains hospitalized, the others were discharged. The death was the fourth West Nile-related death in Clark County since 2003.

Earlier this season, the health district’s vector control program identified two West Nile-positive mosquito pools, one each in the 89145 and 89107 zip codes. The Nevada Department of Agriculture reported that an unvaccinated horse in the 89130 zip code contracted West Nile.

There is currently no vaccine for people.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that West Nile virus infections and illness rates are on record pace this year with more than 3,900 cases and 163 deaths reported through October 2. The health district reminds the community to take precautions to prevent against West Nile virus.

With the identification of two positive mosquito pools in Clark County it is likely that West Nile virus infected mosquitoes are present throughout the valley and precautions against the disease are recommended for all residents and visitors.

West Nile virus can be prevented by using insect repellants and eliminating sources of standing water which support mosquito breeding.

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.

In 2011, Nevada reported 16 cases, 11 of which were in Clark County. There were no human cases of West Nile virus were reported in Clark County in 2010.

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