West Nile Virus May Have Infected Burning Man, So Get to the Doctor ASAP If You Have Any Symptoms
Did you or your friends go to Burning Man this year? If you did, I have some bad news for you: Burning Man attendees might have been exposed to West Nile Virus. I think I speak for all of us when I say, yikes.
A press release issued Wednesday by the Washoe District Health Department confirmed that mosquitoes caught in nine traps set in the Gerlach area of Nevada have tested positive for WNV. This is the second time traps in Washoe County have tested positive for it in 2014; additionally, the first human case of WNV was reported in Clark County on Wednesday morning. The Gerlach General Improvement District will begin fogging treatments in the Gerlach area this week, but given that Gerlach isn’t the only area to have tested positive — other counties beyond Clark and Washoe include Elko and Mineral Counties — it’s best to take precautions against mosquitoes.
But although some say that the presence of WNV is cause for concern, others disagree. Mic, for example, notes that if you just came back from Burning Man and find yourself with a fever, headache, vomiting, or rash, you should get yourself to a doctor immediately; they also cite the CDC’s report that 70 to 80 percent of people with WNV don’t exhibit the symptoms, so you might have it and not even know it. But we might not actually need to be freaking out all that much: The Huffington Post reached out to Washoe County press contact Phil Ulibarri, who said that although the traps in Gerlach did test positive, there’s absolutely “zero” chance the Burning Man desert was infected. For the curious, Gerlach is about 14 miles away from Burning Man.
Still worried? Here’s how to protect yourself from mosquitoes, courtesy of the CDC. Or, y’know, just stay indoors as much as possible. They can’t bite you if they can’t get at you.