• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018
2 minutes reading time (450 words)

West Nile Virus Positive Mosquitoes in Pinal


During seasonal mosquito surveillance the Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD) has continued to detect West Nile Virus (WNV) positive mosquitoes in the county. Mosquito surveillance is done throughout Pinal County in order to determine the relative risk of mosquito-borne disease to the community. We are currently moving into a higher risk period for transmission of WNV.

Chris Reimus, who manages Pinal County's Environmental Health Division said, "Mosquitoes are a part of our desert environment, just like the sun. People are used to avoiding sunburns and wearing sunscreen; the same principles apply to mosquitoes. Avoid them and wear CDC recommended repellent if mosquitoes cannot be avoided."

Things that you can do to help stop breeding of disease carrying mosquitoes and prevent mosquito bites:
  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
    • Be sure your property is graded to drain appropriately.
    • Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters, troughs, and animal watering pans at least twice a week. Be sure to scrub them out when changing water.
    • Get rid of junk or debris in your yard that can collect water.
    • Repair leaky pipes and faucets.
  • If you have a swimming pool or backyard pond, keep it operational. If you must keep it out of use, make sure you remove the standing water, keep it chlorinated, or run the filter daily.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside of your home by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
    • When using sunscreen, always apply the sunscreen before you apply the insect repellent.
  • West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people.

Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. Symptoms of WNV such as rash on the trunk, headaches, high fever, neck stiffness or disorientation, may look like other health conditions. Always seek diagnosis and treatment from a medical provider.

Pinal County also investigates complaints related to disease causing mosquitoes, such as permanent standing water, green pools, or other reports of mosquito activity. If you would like information on mosquito prevention and control, or to file a complaint, visit the Pinal County Environmental Health webpage at http://pinal.gov/ehs, or call 866-287-0209.
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