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SNHD: More West Nile-positive mosquitos found in Las Vegas area

The mosquito Aedes aegypti is a spreader of Zika virus.
Jeffrey Arguedas/EPA
The mosquito Aedes aegypti.

The Southern Nevada Health District said this morning that more West Nile virus-positive mosquitos have been found in the Las Vegas area, and two pools also tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis. ⁠ ⁠

As of June 6, SNHD said 91 mosquito pools, comprising 3,081 mosquitoes from 16 ZIP codes, have tested positive for West Nile virus. Two mosquito pools, comprising 46 mosquitoes from two ZIP codes, have tested positive for the virus that causes St. Louis encephalitis.⁠ ⁠

They've also noticed an uptick in mosquito complains from the public. One type of mosquito here, Aedes aegypti, is known as an aggressive daytime biter that prefers people over birds. ⁠ ⁠

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This is the first time they've tested positive for West Nile in Clark County.⁠ ⁠

𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲'𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗡𝗛𝗗 𝘀𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗦𝘁. 𝗟𝗼𝘂𝗶𝘀 𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘀:⁠
• Last reported here in 2019, last human case in 2016⁠
• Spread to people by infected mosquito bite⁠
• Most people develop no symptoms⁠
• Those who do experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Some develop neuroinvasive forms that case encephalitis or meningitis⁠ ⁠

𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗪𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗡𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝘃𝗶𝗿𝘂𝘀:⁠
• Minimal activity in 2020, 2021, 2023⁠
• In 2019, there were 43 confirmed human cases⁠
• Two cases were confirmed in 2023⁠
• 1 in 5 people bit by an infected mosquito will develop symptoms⁠
• 1 in 150 will develop serious, sometimes fatal, illness⁠ ⁠

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗱𝗼 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗲𝘀:⁠
• Eliminate standing water around your home⁠
• Use an EPA-registered insect repellent⁠
• Wear loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants⁠
• Report mosquito activity to SNHD at 702-759-1633⁠

Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the audience engagement specialist for Nevada Public Radio. She curates and creates content for, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.