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New West Nile Virus cases found in Nevada


West Nile Virus image courtesy of the CDCNDA NEWS

SPARKS – The Nevada Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory has detected additional cases of West Nile Virus in Nevada.

The Animal Disease Laboratory at the Nevada Department of agriculture has tested 1,750 mosquito specimens to date. Mosquitoes were submitted from 16 of the 17 Nevada counties. A total of 42 West Nile Virus positive mosquito submissions were identified from Carson City, Churchill County, Clark County, Douglas County, Elko County, Lyon County and Washoe County.

The laboratory also conducted surveillance for two additional arbo (arthropod borne)-viruses, Saint Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLE) and Western Equine Encephalitis Virus (WEE). The laboratory confirmed the presence of WEE in a mosquito sample from Clark County and the presence of SLE in mosquito specimens from Douglas County and Elko County, respectively.

West Nile Virus established itself in this area in 2003, and detection of viral transmission either in positive mosquito pools, birds or horses usually starts in mid to late July in northern Nevada. Mosquito season in this area usually ends with the first killing frosts in October.

Unlike West Nile Virus, which was introduced into the United States in 1999 in New York and reached the pacific coast in 2002, both SLE and WEE have been endemic in the intermountain west for many decades.

“All horse owners should update their animal’s West Nile Virus vaccination,” said Dr. Annette Rink, acting state veterinarian and supervisor of the Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory. Four effective vaccines exist for horses, but vaccine development for humans is still under way with currently no available product in sight.

“Nevada has had cases of West Nile Virus since 2003,” Dr. Rink said. “This should serve as a reminder, especially to people 50 years and older, to use repellent containing DEET and to wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outside, especially during dawn and dusk. Also, remove any standing water from around your house and check to make sure your window screens fit properly.”

CDC evaluation of information contained in peer-reviewed scientific literature, and data available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have identified several EPA registered products that provide repellent activity sufficient to help people avoid the bites of disease carrying mosquitoes.

Products containing these active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection: DEET (Chemical Name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethly-3-methyl-benzamide) Picaridin (KBR 3023, Chemical Name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester ) Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus* or PMD (Chemical Name: para-Menthane-3,8-diol) the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus IR3535 (Chemical Name: 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester) EPA characterizes the active ingredients DEET and Picaridin as “conventional repellents” and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, PMD, and IR3535 as “biopesticide repellents”, which are derived from natural materials.

For more information on repellent active ingredients, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/mosquitoes/ai_insectrp.htm.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture promotes sustainable agriculture and natural resources, which work to protect food, fiber, human health and safety and environment through effective service, regulatory action and agricultural literacy. The NDA was established in 1915 by Chapter 561 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. It includes the divisions of Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition and Plant Industry. For more information, visit agri.nv.gov.

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