West Nile bites back | TahoeDailyTribune.com

West Nile bites back

Becky Bosshart

CARSON CITY – Officials are asking Northern Nevadans to spray on strong mosquito repellent and wear long sleeves and pants this summer after 18 people across the state have been sickened with the mosquito-born virus.

It’s only a month and one week into the West Nile virus season, and double the number of Nevadans have contracted the virus compared to this same time last year, according to a Nevada State Health Division report.

There are dangerous consequences of West Nile virus and people should not let down their guard, said Teresa Hayes, environmental health specialist who heads the city’s vector control program.

“People have gotten lackadaisical about precautions,” she said. “I can only kill so many mosquitoes. Wear long sleeves and pants and use a DEET product.”

Two cases have been reported in Carson City so far, the most recent one was contracted by a person under the age of 50, said Dustin Boothe, Carson City health and human service disease investigator.

This case was reported to the state on July 28, after the person returned from a vacation, which is where it could have been contracted, he said.

“This individual was very tired and wasn’t getting any better and that’s why they went to a doctor,” he said Monday.

Carson City was free human cases of West Nile last year. The most serious case of West Nile virus sickened Douglas County mother Megan Most, who is being treated at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center for encephalitis, meningitis and pneumonia.

The vector control program will spray several areas this morning. Starting at daybreak, Buzzy’s Ranch, River View Park, Empire Ranch Golf Course, Anderson Ranch, Silver Saddle Ranch and the south end of the prison will be sprayed from a helicopter.

Hobart and Lakeview will also be sprayed by air for the second time this summer, Hayes said. Mosquito control experts spray certain areas about every 21 days. Total they will spray 320 acres, which is about 50 acres more than last year.

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