LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- As the warmer weather arrives in the valley, local health officials are warning about the West Nile Virus which is a disease spread by mosquitoes.
News 3's Marissa Mike says one case unexpectedly popped up in Arizona, and Clark County officials are asking you to take the steps to help protect our community.
We haven't had significant rainfall and the weather is starting to heat up but local health officials are calling on residents to be aware of their surroundings and look for stagnant bodies of water.
It's those pools of water that can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying the potentially deadly West Nile Virus.
“As we start getting into warmer weather, we'll see more insect activity,” said Vivek Raman from the Southern Nevada Health District.
Insect activity includes mosquito breeding.
Raman tracks mosquitoes for the Southern Nevada Health district. He says if southern Nevada gets warmer than normal temperatures in the near future, West Nile could pop up sooner than the typical mosquito season.
“Historically we see disease from the end of June through October,” Raman said.
This year could be different. For example, Maricopa County, in Arizona, is already reporting its first 2013 West Nile case weeks before expected.
“One thing with West Nile it's proven to be unpredictable.” Raman said.
Raman says residents need to keep an eye out for stagnant bodies of water.
“Any standing water can be a breeding source whether it's a pool or a bird bath or a fountain,” Raman said.
Also watch for green pools, left untreated, they're a paradise for the pests. Sky 3 spotted problematic pools just this evening. If you see them report them because prevention is key.
“We've found West Nile in cc since 2004, we know the virus is here. we know mosquitoes transmit it to people so we should take precautions year round to prevent mosquito breeding," he said.
To protect yourself, Raman suggests using bug repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts during dusk and dawn since this is the most active times for mosquitoes. He also says it is a good idea drain standing water.
If you spot any stagnant bodies of water or green pools in your area, call your (702) 455-4191 and report it.