First West Nile Virus Positive in Pinal County for 2019 - SanTanValley.com

First West Nile Virus Positive in Pinal County for 2019

First WNV Positive in Pinal County for 2019
First West Nile Virus Positive in Pinal County for 2019

This week, during seasonal mosquito surveillance, the Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD) detected the first 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. Vector control specialists hang traps to catch mosquitoes, identify the mosquitoes to determine if they are the type that carry disease, and check if WNV is present in the mosquitoes caught. This data is used to help determine the risk of mosquito borne disease to Pinal County residents and visitors and it guides PCPHSD’s disease prevention efforts.

Chris Reimus, who manages Pinal County’s vector control program said,

“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. 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.”

Other ways to help prevent mosquitoes and mosquito bites:

  •  Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Check for items outside the home that collect water, such as cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tires, drums and other containers and get rid of them.
  •  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.
  •  Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to prevent standing water.
  •  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.
  •  When using an insect repellent, make sure it is proven effective. EPA-registered and CDC recommended insect repellents include: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and 2-undecanone.
  •  When using sunscreen, always apply the sunscreen before you apply the insect repellent.

West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of certain mosquitoes and is now common in Arizona. Other mosquito borne diseases, including Zika virus, are emerging into North America, but have not yet been spread locally in Arizona. Pinal County’s mosquito surveillance program specifically looks for mosquitoes associated with human disease.

Not everyone who gets mosquito-borne diseases has symptoms, but for those who do, some may experience lasting or permanent effects and in the worst cases, the diseases can be fatal. 

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 Services webpage at http://pinalcountyaz.gov/ehs, or call 866-287-0209.

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