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State briefs

(Staff reports) State health officials say five more cases of West Nile virus in humans have been reported in rural Nevada.

That brings the total number of cases in Nevada this year to eight.

“While we are experiencing cooler temperatures in Northern Nevada, mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus continue to be in our environment,” said division administrator Alex Haartz in a prepared statement on the problem.

He urged people to practice preventive measures to avoid being bitten, including the use of a repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil. He said people should also remove standing water around their houses and make sure screens and doors fit.

Two of the cases were in Churchill County, one of whom suffered the more severe neuroinvasive form of the disease. There were also two cases in Elko County and one in Nye.

The previous three cases were in Pershing and Clark counties.

Haartz said the disease is most often spread by the bite of mosquitoes, which become infected when they feed on birds carrying the disease. He said it is not spread by casual touching or even kissing a person who has the disease.

Tribe and feds reintroduce Railroad Valley springfish

The Duckwater Shoshone tribe has signed a deal with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce the Railroad Valley springfish into its native habitat at Big Warm Spring southwest of Ely.

The work is a cooperative effort with Fish and Wildlife, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Experts will remove a catfish farm in the area and restore a stream channel to its natural route as well as remove nonnative fish from the waters.

Native vegetation has already been re-established at Big Warm Spring in preparation for reintroduction of the fish.

Federal officials said in announcing the project that there are just six known populations of the Railroad Valley springfish, all within 30 miles of each other in Railroad Valley.

The Safe Harbor Agreement between the tribe and other partners guarantees that landowners won’t incur new restrictions on the use of their property if they improve, restore, maintain, or create habitat for endangered species.

Controller’s office honored for financial reporting excellence

The Nevada Controller’s Office has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Controller Kim Wallin said this is the ninth consecutive year the office has received the award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada.

That award is for the state’s comprehensive annual financial report.

She said the office also received the outstanding achievement award in popular annual financial reporting for publication of the booklet “Citizen’s Assets,” a report on the state’s finances designed for the average person.