By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In the Las Vegas/Clark County area, health officials have declared an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) after receiving reports of 28 cases of the disease in humans – the highest case count in a season since the virus was first detected in the state in 2004.
17 of the 28 reported cases have had the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness.
“The West Nile virus activity we are seeing in our community is a serious public health concern,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District. “I urge people to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using repellents whenever they are outdoors and to make sure they are eliminating standing water from around their homes.”
The Southern Nevada Health District is reminding the public that West Nile virus is preventable. The disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The illness is not spread person to person. Most people with the virus (eight out of 10) will have no symptoms or very mild symptoms of illness. About one in five people will develop mild symptoms which include fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus recover completely but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
About one in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous symptom such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).
- Ebola update: South Kivu situation, Funding for vaccine, Case count
- Toxoplasma, feral cats and sea otters
- HPV: ‘A future without HPV cancers is within reach, but urgent action is needed to improve vaccine coverage rates’
- California: 1st human St. Louis Encephalitis cases reported in Imperial County
- Brain-eating amoeba case reported in Sonora, Mexico: Media report