First Douglas West Nile virus case reported |

First Douglas West Nile virus case reported

Staff Reports

State and county officials reported the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in Douglas County on Thursday.

A 50-year-old man was determined to have a less serious form of the illness, according to Douglas County Mosquito Abatement District director Krista Jenkins.

Last year, there were nine cases of West Nile virus reported in Nevada.

Jenkins and Carson City Health and Human Services reminded Nevadans and visitors to take precautions to prevent West Nile virus infection. Most cases of West Nile virus occur during the summer months.

On July 24, Douglas County reported their first West Nile positive mosquitoes this summer. They were collected in the 89411 zip code. On July 30, 2013, Carson City reported their first positive mosquitoes. Testing of mosquitoes for West Nile and other vectorborne viruses will continue throughout the season.

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 2012, Nevada reported 9 cases, 8 of which were in Clark County. There were no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Douglas County in 2012.

The Carson City environmental health specialists and mosquito abatement staff routinely survey known breeding sources for mosquitoes and trap them for identification. In addition to West Nile virus, mosquitoes are also tested for Western Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis.

Officials recommend the following to prevent mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sources:

■ Apply an insect repellent containing DEET, according to manufacturer’s directions. Repellents containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus also have some efficacy. However, DEET is the best-studied and most-effective repellent available.

■ Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, when outdoors.

■ Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, notably at dusk (the first two hours after sunset) and dawn.

■ Eliminate areas of standing water, including bird baths, “green” swimming pools and sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.