Preliminary test results indicate a third Nevadan has contracted the West Nile Virus, the state Health Division said Wednesday.
The man lives in Churchill County. State Health Officer Bradford Lee said the victim is over 50 and appears to have contracted a severe form of the illness while in Nevada.
Additional test results for positive confirmation of the mosquito-borne illness are expected in one to two weeks. Earlier reports of people with the virus include one in the Reno area and one in the Las Vegas area.
On Monday, health officials said three dead birds found over the weekend in the Reno area tested positive for the virus; and the Clark County Health District confirmed that a dead hawk found in the southeastern Las Vegas Valley had the virus.
In addition, the state Agriculture Department on Monday released test results for samples collected in Humboldt, Washoe and Clark counties, and confirmed the presence of the virus in Humboldt.
The agency said three horses have tested positive for the virus, including one in Churchill County that was destroyed after it became severely ill.
Officials began urging horse owners last year to vaccinate their animals when the likelihood of the disease arriving in Nevada seemed evident. Mules and donkeys also should be vaccinated.
Tests conducted on dead crows found in Carson City and Lyon County and on mosquitoes trapped in Lyon, Mineral and White Pine counties confirmed the disease's presence in all of those areas last week.
Health officials are reminding people to take preventive measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. That includes use of insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, making sure house screens fit properly and draining any standing water around homes where mosquitos might breed.
On the Net:
Washoe District Health Department: www.co.washoe.nv.us/health
Nevada Department of Agriculture: www.agri.state.nv.us
National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov