This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Last week, The Nevada Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory confirmed that a 2-year-old horse in Churchill County tested positive for West Nile Virus. Nationally, many other cases of West Nile Virus have been reported.
West Nile Virus, which can cause illness in humans, is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Many people who are infected with West Nile Virus have no symptoms. Others, about 20 percent of those who are infected, experience symptoms similar to the flu. A few people each year come down with a severe illness that may include neurological symptoms as a result of West Nile Virus infection.
Dustin Boothe, Carson City epidemiologist, strongly urges individuals to practice preventive measures.
"Use repellent containing DEET and wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outside, especially during dawn and dusk," he said. "Also, remove any standing water from around your house and check to make sure your window screens fit properly."
Carson City Health and Human Services' Environmental Health Division conducts mosquito surveillance and control activities at high-risk locations around our community to help keep the numbers of mosquitoes down. This includes surveying for mosquito larvae in pools of water and using larvicide if necessary. The larvicide the Health Department uses kills larvae of mosquitoes before they start biting, without harming other wildlife.
This year we've had less mosquito activity than usual in Carson City as a result of the dry conditions, but that does not mean that there are no mosquitoes around. If you are noticing mosquitoes on your property, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself and your family from West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne infections:
• Remove standing water.
• Eliminate piles of yard waste or debris where water can collect.
• Repair or replace screens over windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
• Repair leaky outdoor faucets to keep puddles from forming.
• Treat swimming pools regularly to keep them from becoming mosquito habitat.
• Any time you are outdoors, but especially at dawn and dusk, cover up as much as possible with long pants and long sleeves.
• Wear bug repellent to keep mosquitoes away.
To learn more about Health Department services, go to our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.
Carson City Health and Human Services
900 E. Long St., Carson City
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.
Well-child visits: 8 a.m. to 4p.m. Mondays.
Men's clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays.
Immunization Day: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays.
Douglas County Community Health
1538 Highway 395 North (Corner of Spruce Street and Cemetery Lane). Call 775-782-9038.
Clinic hours: 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.
Monday is Immunization Day: No appointment needed, 1-4:30 p.m.