Five new cases of West Nile virus have been reported by the Nevada State Health Division, bring the total number of people infected in the state to nine this year.
According to Annie Uccelli, Health Department spokeswoman, the latest victims are two Lyon County residents, both under age 50; one Lincoln County resident, over 50 years of age; one Churchill County resident, under 50; and one Humboldt County resident, under 50.
This brings the total number of human cases associated with West Nile virus in Nevada to nine. Human case counts by county are Lyon, 3; Lincoln, 1; Humboldt, 3; Douglas, 1; and Churchill, 1.
A 33-year-old Carson City teacher who lives in Lyon County was diagnosed with West Nile meningitis on Aug. 19. An 83-year-old Fallon man diagnosed in September 2004 continues to fight ailments associated with contracting the virus that include partial paralysis.
"As we continue to enjoy outdoor activities during the last days of summer, it's important to remember that mosquitoes remain active in every county in our state Ð that means that West Nile virus is still a threat to the public's health," said Dr. Bradford Lee, Nevada health officer.
Historically, during the second year a state experiences West Nile virus, the incidence of human infection tends to increase.
"Fortunately, Nevada has not had many human cases this year, compared to our neighboring state, California, but the mosquito season is far from over," Lee said.
"While serious symptoms of West Nile Virus infection are more common in people 50 years and over, we have seen that three individuals under the age of 50 have developed the severe form of the disease. Prevention is the key to decrease your chance of being infected with West Nile virus."