ST. LOUIS – In the summer of 1933, St. Louis experienced a mosquito-borne viral epidemic that resulted in 201 deaths. Now this virus still lingers and is making its’ way through southern Nevada.

The virus known as St. Louis encephalitis originated in St. Louis when over 1,000 clinical cases were reported in 1933 of a mosquito-borne disease that can lead to inflammation of the brain. An agent from this outbreak carried on and became known as St. Louis encephalitis.

St. Louis encephalitis is typically spread when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a human, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the 1933 epidemic, the virus, similar to the West Nile mosquito virus, affected almost 40% of the St. Louis population at the time, according to a National Library of Medicine study.

In 1930, St. Louis had a population of 821,960 citizens based on US census data collection, and approximately 328,500 of these citizens had a case of the virus, most without symptoms, according to the same study.

Only 1,095 of these cases in 1933 had identifiable symptoms, which include a fever, headache, nausea and tiredness. Severe infections could result in a high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, possibly coma, tremors or even death, according to Vector Disease Control International.

As of today, there is still no cure or specific treatment for the virus, but treatment can include hospitalization, IV fluids and respiratory support also according to VDCI.

As of this year, on June 6, the Southern Nevada Health District reported that their Mosquito Surveillance Program detected two mosquito pools, comprising of 46 mosquitoes from two Nevada zip codes, that tested positive for the virus that causes St. Louis encephalitis, according to KLAS, our Las Vegas affiliate.

The best way to prevent getting the virus is by preventing mosquito bites, according to the CDC. Prevention can be done through wearing insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved clothing, treating clothing and taking steps to control mosquitos indoors and outdoors.