Announcements

Person infected with West Nile Virus in Washoe County
Sparks-area adult tests positive without exhibiting full range of symptoms

Media Release
For Immediate Release
www.washoecounty.us/health

Contact: Phil Ulibarri
pulibarri@washoecounty.us
775.328.2414 or 775.772.1659

RENO, NV – A Sparks-area adult has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) a local health official announced today. The individual was identified through the blood screening process after donating blood at a local blood bank.

According to Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick, the Health District received confirmation today from the Nevada State Lab that the individual was infected with West Nile Virus. “Fortunately the individual did not become sick and did not exhibit symptoms such as a fever,” said Dick.  “We may never have known of the infection if the individual hadn’t donated blood.” A total of five positive WNV tests in mosquitos were recently reported by the Health District since the beginning of August.

Although the blood and antibody tests performed by the blood bank and state laboratory are positive for WNV, the individual in question DOES NOT meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s clinical criteria for reporting purposes according to Dick. “The CDC’s case definition requires a person to be sickened by the virus enough to develop a fever. So from a CDC reporting perspective, this is not a case. From the public health practice perspective, this is a case of a person being infected by West Nile Virus,” said Dick. “As Health Officer I think it’s important that the community know that West Nile Virus transmission is possible in our area and to take preventative measures to keep from being bitten by mosquitos,” Dick added.

How to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Wear proper clothing and repellent if going outdoors when mosquitos are active, especially in the early morning and evening.
  • Use repellants containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535, which are the best when used according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitos from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older.
  • Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitos out. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
  • Clear standing water and any items from around homes that can be potential mosquito breeding-grounds, including small puddles, pools, planters, children’s sandboxes, wagons or toys, underneath and around faucets, as well as plant saucers and pet bowls.
  • Vaccinate your horses for WNV.

The Washoe County Health District’s Communicable Disease Program investigates all reported cases of diseases like WNV. Healthcare providers are encouraged to consider a WNV infection as your differential diagnosis among patients who are ill and have recently experienced mosquito bites. Residents may report mosquito activity to the Health District at 785-4599 or 328-2434.

More information on WNV and the Washoe County Health District’s Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program can be found at http://bit.ly/1SCOM2g.

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Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »