United States: Several may wish to delay their Las Vegas area summer vacation plans as health officials stated that this year, the Southern Nevada region has recorded the highest level of mosquito activity, with more than three thousand captured and tested specimens coming back positive for West Nile virus. 

More about the news 

In a press release, the Southern Nevada Health District stated that the 91 pools, which documented 3,081 mosquitoes from 16 ZIP codes, tested positive for the virus as of June 6. 

Two pools, with 46 mosquitoes from two ZIP codes, have also deposited the biomonitor showing a positive test result for the virus that produces St. Louis encephalitis, as time.com reported. 

The Mosquito Surveillance Program run by the health district has also noted that complaints by residents regarding the activity of the pests have risen, based on the press release. 

West Nile Virus Outbreak: Highest Mosquito Activity Ever in US State. Credit | CDC
West Nile Virus Outbreak: Highest Mosquito Activity Ever in US State. Credit | CDC

Officials stated that the incidence was partly because of the unluckier increase in the density of Aedes aegypti – these are mosquitoes particularly active in the middle of the day and prefer to feed on human beings than fowls. 

For the first time, Aedes aegypti was found harboring the West Nile virus in Clark County, and the press release noted. 

Additionally, for the past four years, reported confirmed activity of West Nile virus has been low in Southern Nevada, the health officials noted. Since the virus appeared in 2003, there were only two reported instances of human infection in 2023. According to the official data in 2019, forty-three cases of confirmed human illness were recorded. 

Infection spread by West Nile virus 

People become ill with the West Nile virus when a mosquito bites them and carries the West Nile virus. 

The press release shares that out of persons infected by West Nile virus, around 20 persons will manifest sickness markers like fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes, as time.com reported. 

To recall, primary infection by West Nile virus is not life-threatening but can turn fatal on some rare occasions in that one out of 150 people who get infected, the disease takes a severe turn and or can cause death

The ones found positive for St. Louis encephalitis virus were mosquitoes in Clark County, and the last record of the disease was in humans in 2019, as pointed out in the press release. 

Similar to West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus is transmittable through an infected mosquito and goes away without incident for most individuals, but some may experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, among others. 

As a result of the disease, some of the patients may first demonstrate signs of neuroinvasive disease, which manifests in encephalitis, inflammation of the brain or meningitis, and inflammation of the meninges of the spinal cord, according to the press release on the subject. 

The departments of health of the affected regions basically appealed to the populace to practice personal protection measures against the vectors of these diseases such as routinely eliminating sources of standing water as mosquitoes breed in it and consistently applying insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites. 


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