The first West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in Pinal County during a seasonal mosquito surveillance by vector control specialists.
The Pinal County Public Health Services (PCPHSD) does mosquito surveillance throughout Pinal County to assess the relative risk of mosquito-borne disease to the community. Traps are hung to catch mosquitoes, which are then identified to determine if they are the type that carry disease and check if WNV is present in those mosquitoes that are caught. The data gathered is used to determine the risk of mosquito borne disease to local residents and visitors.
“This is a good time to remind people that the best ways to prevent mosquito-borne illness are for residents to stop mosquito breeding on their property by checking for and emptying any standing water,” Chris Reimus, Manager of the Pinal County vector control program said. “Even a short time outdoors can be long enough to get mosquito bites, so take care to wear protective clothing and use an effective insect repellent.”
Here are ways to help prevent mosquitoes and mosquito bites:
- Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. Even cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tires, drums and other types of containers can collect water and breed mosquitoes.
- Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters, troughs and animal watering pans at least twice a week – be sure to scrub them out!
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets; move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to prevent standing water.
- If you have a swimming pool or backyard pond, keep it operational. If it is not in use, remove standing water, or keep it chlorinated and run the filter daily.
- Ensure your screens fit properly on windows and doors.
- When using an insect repellent, make sure it is effective. Look for EPA-registered or CDC recommended repellents.
- If using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first, then insect repellent.
WNV, spread through the bite of certain mosquitoes, is common in Arizona. The Zika virus has not yet been seen in Arizona.
For those that get a mosquito-borne disease, symptoms can be mild to severe, sometimes even fatal. Check with your health professional if you think you have become ill from mosquito bites.
If you have concerns regarding standing water, green pools or mosquito activity, call Pinal County at 866.287.0209 or go to http://pinalcountyaz.gov/ehs