The Washoe County Health District announced Thursday that the first human death from West Nile Virus has been reported in the county. According to officials, over 60 mosquito tests have returned positive for the virus and has been found in five other humans, several birds and a horse in the district.

Health Officials say that insecticide fogging will happen throughout the county in the areas and neighborhoods where the virus has been found. The district will also be conducting a fourth round of helicopter larvicide applications in late September.

"The increase in positive collection was expected," said Washoe County Health Officer Kevin Dick, "but a human casualty is never easy to accept, so our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the deceased. We'll never know exactly how many illnesses our abatement activities will prevent, but if it prevents even one case of West Nile Virus and the extreme discomfort and cost associated with it, we feel it is worth our efforts."

Some things to remember to avoid being bitten by a mosquito as well as preventing mosquitoes from hatching are:

  • 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.
  • 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 items 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.

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