Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2017

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Eighth case of West Nile identified in Clark County

A Clark County woman has been infected with West Nile virus, the eighth case recorded in the county this year, the Southern Nevada Health District reported Friday.

The 51-year-old woman contracted a less serious form of the illness and was not hospitalized, health officials said.

Of the others who contracted the virus in Clark County this year, five were hospitalized and one, a 75-year-old woman, died from the illness. The fatality was the fourth West Nile-related death since 2003 in Clark County.

In Clark County, 11 West Nile cases were reported in 2011 and none in 2010.

The Health District also reported two new zip codes — 89121 in the eastern valley and 89124 in the central valley — where mosquitoes carrying the virus have been identified. West Nile-infected mosquitoes have been found in seven zip codes in Clark County this year, including one in Laughlin.

Cold temperatures and shorter days should lessen the numbers of mosquitoes, the Health District said.

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 have no or mild symptoms. 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.

Among steps people can take to avoid contracting the virus are:

• Using insect repellent that contains the active ingredient DEET.

• Eliminating sources of standing water, such as unmaintained “green” swimming pools, which mosquitoes may use as breeding grounds. People can report green swimming pools and standing or stagnant water sources to local code enforcement agencies.

• Wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts outdoors to avoid getting bitten.

• Spending less time outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

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