First Human West Nile Case Confirmed in Washoe County - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

First Human West Nile Case Confirmed in Washoe County

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The Washoe County Health District says a North Valleys resident has tested positive for West Nile Virus. It is the first human case this year in Washoe County.

Although this resident had traveled outside of Washoe County and may have been exposed elsewhere, the presence of positive mosquito pools locally means that a local exposure cannot be ruled out and residents should take appropriate precautions. The announcement coincides with the identification of three positive mosquito collections in Gerlach, although the incidents are not related.

"We have been expecting this to be a very active season for both mosquitoes and West Nile Virus in Washoe County due to the heavy precipitation we got this year and because of the extremely warm weather in the area," said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. "Although we are monitoring mosquito activity, conducting monthly larvicide treatments, and fogging areas of known activity, this is a reminder that people must be vigilant and take personal measures to keep mosquitoes at bay" said Dick. The Health Officer added that the Health District's Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program is providing support to the Gerlach GID's mosquito abatement activities.

The Health District is fogging areas where known mosquito activity is present, and a helicopter larvicide application scheduled to cover 2,800 acres in wetlands from the North Valleys to Washoe Lake is set for August 16 and 17. But health officials emphasize the importance of people taking precautions to keep mosquitoes from biting.

  • Wear proper clothing and repellent if going outdoors when mosquitoes 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 mosquitoes 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 mosquitoes 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, childrens sandboxes, wagons or toys, underneath and around faucets, as well as plant saucers and pet bowls.
  • Vaccinate your horses for WNV.

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

(Washoe County contributed to this report.)

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