West Nile Already Confirmed In Maricopa County

By | May 1, 2013
Culex mosquitos (Culex quinquefasciatus shown)...

Culex mosquitos (Culex quinquefasciatus shown) are biological vectors that transmit West Nile Virus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

West Nile Already Confirmed In Maricopa County

In Arizona, the deadly West Nile Virus has already been confirmed for 2013, by Maricopa County officials. Maricopa County’s Environmental Protective Services got an early start this year, setting mosquito traps, and testing the trapped mosquitoes for West Nile.

During this trapping, officials confirmed the presence of West Nile, as mosquitoes tested positive for the virus. This discovery marks the earliest West Nile season has begun in Arizona in quite some time. This is because of the especially wet winter, with above average temperatures this spring.

The wet winter and warm spring mean, in all likelihood, an increase of mosquito activity throughout Maricopa County this summer. East Valley cities, like Queen Creek, Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa should continue to be a hot zone for both mosquito and West Nile activity this upcoming year.

In 2012, Maricopa County reported 168 positive mosquito samples and 76 lab-confirmed human cases with two reported deaths.

West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know

West Nile Virus is spread to both humans and animals by mosquitoes, more specifically mosquito bites. Only a very small percentage of mosquitoes carry the virus.
Birds commonly carry West Nile Virus, and that’s how the virus is spread. A mosquito bites an infected bird, and then bites a human.

Once a person is infected with West Nile Virus, the chance of feeling any symptoms or getting sick is quite low. In fact, most will not feel any symptoms at all… maybe a mild fever.

Less than one out of 150 people who become infected with West Nile will develop a more serious form of the infection, such as meningitis or encephalitis. These infections can require hospitalization, treatment, and supportive care. As of today, there is no human vaccine for the virus.

Mosquito larvæ of the genus Culex.

Mosquito larvæ of the genus Culex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Steps To Prevent Mosquitoes & Mosquito Bites

  • Remove stagnant water (puddles, flowerpots, tire swings, etc.) from around your property.
  • Limit outdoor activity during the dusk and dawn hours.
  • When outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Apply mosquito repellent that contains DEET
  • Anything that can carry water after a storm (toys, wheelbarrows) needs to be stored upside down.
  • Discard anything that you’re not using, that can collect water.
  • If you have a tire swing on your property, drill holes in the bottom so it won’t collect stagnant water.
  • Don’t leave doors or windows open, and check screens for holes.
  • Frequently change the water in your pet’s dish, and bird bath.
  • Mosquito control needs to be a neighborhood initiative. Encourage others around you to take similar precautions.

Phoenix Pest Control

If you are seeing a lot of mosquitoes around your property, take the above mentioned steps to ensure you do not contract the West Nile Virus. Take extra precautions with professional pest control.

Mosquito Control

Maricopa County Vector Control
3220 West Gibson Lane #1513
Phoenix, Arizona 85009
(602) 506-0700

General Pest Control

Bulwark Exterminating
10401 N 91st Ave
Peoria, AZ 85345
(623) 572-3016
Bulwark Exterminating
1228 East Broadway Road
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 969-7474

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