CARSON CITY HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES NEWS RELEASE
Carson City and Douglas County, Nev. — Carson City Health & Human Services (CCHHS) and Douglas County Mosquito Abatement (DCMA) are reporting the first human case of West Nile virus in the Carson City−Douglas County area for 2018. The individual confirmed to have the virus was diagnosed with the less severe form of the illness.
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 flu-like 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.
Less than 1 percent of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. If you are experiencing this type of illness, it is important to seek medical treatment.
The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites. CCHHS and DCMA advise Nevadans and visitors to take the following precautions to prevent West Nile virus throughout the summer months:
• Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. Learn more about insect repellents.
• When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
• Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
• Mosquito-proof your home. Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning if you have it. Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths on a regular basis.
The CCHHS environmental health specialists and DCMA 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.
For more information about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, contact us at 775-887-2190 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Douglas County’s mosquito abatement efforts.