For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
RENO, NV – Seven mosquito collections have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) in Washoe County health officials confirmed today. This brings the total of positive collections tested in Washoe County to eight, stretching from the Spanish Springs area to Washoe Lake. The report of more positive WNV collections comes the day after the Washoe County Commission approved an additional $534,835 from the General Fund Contingency to cover mosquito spraying expenses related to flooded areas in Washoe County. No human cases have yet been reported, but the Washoe County Health District urges people to take appropriate steps to prevent being bitten and avoid contracting WNV.
According to Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick, the number of positive collections highlights the importance of individuals taking personal responsibility for preventing mosquito bites in addition to the heightened measures being conducted by the County and the Health District. “The Health District is appreciative of the additional funding provided by the Washoe County Commission to conduct our mosquito abatement activities which include larviciding and fogging, but this is a season where surveillance, treatment, and personal prevention all need to be practiced due to the extraordinary amount of insect activity,” said Dick.
The Washoe County Health District Vector Borne Disease Prevention Program will be conducting fogging in areas where known mosquito activity is present. A helicopter larvicide application occurred in mid-July, and the next helicopter larviciding is scheduled for August 16 and 17. This will provide continued abatement to prevent larva from maturing to adult mosquitos. But, health officials emphasize the importance of people taking precautions to keep mosquitos from biting.
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 should consider a WNV infection as your diagnosis among patients who are ill and have recently experienced mosquito bites. Symptoms may include fever, headache, body ache, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Those with a more severe infection may experience high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and death. In humans, the virus has an incubation period of three to ten days. 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.