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October 24, 2014

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Health district reports 7th West Nile virus case, additional pools of infected mosquitoes

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Steve Marcus

A mosquito is shown in a test tube at the Southern Nevada Health District before being sent to Reno for testing Thursday June 10, 2010.

Another person in Clark County has been infected with the West Nile virus, and additional areas in Clark County with pools of mosquitoes carrying the virus have been identified, health officials reported Tuesday.

A 29-year-old man was diagnosed with West Nile virus, the Southern Nevada Health District said in a news release. The man was experiencing less severe symptoms of the virus and was not hospitalized.

Of the six other cases reported this year in Clark County, five have been hospitalized and one person died. The fatality was the fourth West Nile-related death since 2003 in Clark County, the health district said. In Clark County, 11 cases were reported in 2011 and none in 2010.

The health district also reported pools of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus in four new ZIP codes within Clark County. The ZIP codes are: 89011 and 89121 in Henderson; 89141 in the southwest valley; and 89029, Laughlin. Earlier, the health district identified West Nile virus mosquito pools in the 89145 (western valley) and 89107 (central valley) ZIP codes.

The cooler temperatures and shorter days should lessen the numbers of mosquitoes, the health district said.

West Nile Virus infections are on record pace nationwide reaching 4,700 cases and 219 deaths, the heath 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 will have no symptoms or 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.

Among the steps people can take to ward off the virus are:

• Using insect repellant that contains the active ingredient DEET.

• Eliminating sources of standing water, such as unmaintained “green” swimming pools, which mosquitoes may use as breeding grounds. Residents can now 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 the mosquitoes are most active.

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