LAS VEGAS –The Southern Nevada Health District’s vector control program continues to identify West Nile positive mosquitoes throughout Clark County. To date, no human cases of West Nile have been reported. The health district reminds Southern Nevadans that even though school is back in session, the weather is still warm and mosquito activity continues. West Nile virus can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites through using insect repellents and eliminating sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding. For information about prevention tips, visit the health district’s West Nile pages: Mosquito Control
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.
The Health District’s environmental health specialists routinely survey known breeding sources for mosquitoes and trap them for identification. Residents can report green swimming pools and standing or stagnant water sources to local code enforcement agencies. Contact information for local jurisdictions’ code enforcement is available on the health district website at: http://southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/forms/mosquito.php. In addition to West Nile virus, mosquitoes are also tested for Western Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis.
The health district recommends the following to prevent mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sources:
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) 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 repellant available.
Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, notably at dusk (the first two hours after sunset) and dawn.
Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts to reduce mosquito exposure when outdoors at peak biting times.
Eliminate areas of standing water, including non-circulating ponds, “green” swimming pools, and accumulated sprinkler runoff, which support mosquito breeding.