RENO, NV – A 13 year-old mare in the Washoe Valley/Franktown Road area has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) according to health officials. The report confirms WNV presence in southern Washoe County including Sparks, Reno, and Washoe Valley. Officials stress the importance of taking preventive measures to keep from contracting WNV, and remind horse owners that although there is no vaccine available for humans, there is a WNV vaccine for horses.
The Nevada State Laboratory reported to the Health District that the animal had no travel prior to onset of the disease, and that there are neurological complications in the horse which was taken to UC Davis.
How to avoid mosquito bites:
Wear proper clothing and repellent if going outdoors when mosquitos 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 mosquitos 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 mosquitos 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, children’s sandboxes, wagons or toys, underneath and around faucets, as well as plant saucers and pet bowls.
Vaccinate your horses for WNV.
The Washoe County Health District’s Communicable Disease Program investigates all reported cases of diseases like WNV. Healthcare providers are encouraged to consider a WNV infection as your differential diagnosis among patients who are ill and have recently experienced mosquito bites. 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 http://bit.ly/1SCOM2g.