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2 West Nile cases involve woman, 60, and man, 70

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Updated: 7/03/2013 9:41 am
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting its first human cases of West Nile virus in Clark County for 2013.

The two patients are a 60-year-old woman who is hospitalized with the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness, and a 70-year-old man with the less serious form of the illness.

Last year, the Health District received reports of eight people who had been infected with West Nile virus, one of whom died. The Health District reminds southern Nevadans and visitors to take precautions to prevent West Nile virus infection. Most cases of West Nile virus occur during the summer months.

On Tuesday, the Health District reported the first West Nile positive mosquitoes this summer. They were collected in the 89014 zip code. With the identification of positive mosquitoes in one area of Clark County it is likely that West Nile virus infected mosquitoes are present throughout the valley.

West Nile virus can be prevented by using insect repellants and eliminating sources of standing water which support mosquito breeding. For information about prevention tips, visit the Health District’s West Nile virus pages here.

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.

The Health District’s environmental health specialists routinely survey known breeding sources for mosquitoes and trap them for identification. However, the Health District is no longer treating breeding sources on private property, such as green pools. Residents can now report green swimming pools and standing or stagnant water sources to local code enforcement agencies. Contact information for local jurisdictions’ code enforcement is available on the Health District website here.

In addition to West Nile virus, mosquitoes are also tested for Western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis.

-- From news release
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