Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2018

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Mosquitoes in Las Vegas area test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitoes in the east valley have tested positive for the West Nile virus, but there have been no reports of human cases this year, the Southern Nevada Health District announced today.

The infected mosquitoes were identified in the 89122 ZIP code, east of Nellis Boulevard, between Vegas Valley Drive and Russel Road, officials said.

People can contract the illness through mosquito bites, officials said. Most who are infected will have minor or no symptoms, but in severe cases, the virus can lead to death.

There were three human cases reported last year, including that of a man who died, officials said.

Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting. Swollen lymph glands and skin rashes on the chest, stomach and back are also possible.

“As we continue through monsoon season, it is important to remind Southern Nevadans to take steps to eliminate mosquito breeding sources to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” Joe Iser, district chief health officer, said in a news release. “Community members can do their part by ensuring their homes are free of standing water, using insect repellent appropriately and reporting mosquito activity to our agency.”

Mosquitoes contract West Nile virus by feeding on infected birds and are most active at dawn and dusk, officials said.

The Heath District encourages residents to report green swimming pools and standing water sources to code enforcement agencies. To report insect activity, contact the Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program at 702-759-1633.

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