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WEST NILE VIRUS HITTING LAS VEGAS HARD THIS YEAR

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The Southern Nevada Health District reported three additional cases of West Nile virus in Clark County, bringing the total to 12.

According to the Health District, all three cases were men over the age of 50. Ten of the 12 cases reported so far this year have involved the neuroinvasive form of West Nile.

More than 35,000 mosquitoes have been tested so far this year, according to the Health District's data, with more than 6,100 testing positive for West Nile across 36 zip codes.

Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in 32 unique ZIP codes throughout Clark County, SNHD said. The zip codes included: 89005, 89002, 89014, 89021, 89030, 89031, 89032, 89035, 89040, 89052, 89084, 89101, 89102, 89106, 89107, 89108, 89110, 89117, 89118, 89120, 89122, 89123, 89128, 89129, 89131, 89135, 89138, 89139, 89143, 89149, 89166 and 89178.

The Health District’s Mosquito Surveillance Program staff have submitted more than 35,000 mosquitoes for testing, according to a statement from SNHD.

"We are clearly seeing ongoing transmission of disease in both people and mosquitoes," said Dr. Joe Iser, chief health officer of the Health District. "Our message to the public is that West Nile virus is here, but it is preventable. Use FDA-registered repellent when you are outdoors and eliminate standing water around your homes to prevent mosquito bites and reduce your risk."

SNHD also advised residents to wear pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside and eliminate areas of "standing water, including bird baths, 'green' swimming pools' and sprinkler runoff." 

Dan Slater is one of the health specialists who track mosquito. He uses three different kinds of traps. The most common kind looks like a tool box with a special mix of foul smelling water. "Mosquitoes come in to lay their eggs and mosquito’s get pulled up into this box right here," said Slater. Every trapped mosquito goes back to the lab. The guys are thrown out because they don't carry disease. The ladies are thrown into a pool. 

"When you hear about a pool testing positive for mosquitoes it’s not a swimming pool it's a test tube filled with up to 50 mosquitoes," said Slater. 

Clark County residents are asked to drain any standing water, no matter how small the amount, and use mosquito repellent when outdoors.

You can report mosquito activity to Vector Surveillance Program at (702) 759-1633.

 

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