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Official: Chances of a Zika outbreak in Arizona during monsoon season are low

Arizona is gearing up for its first monsoon season since the discovery of the Zika virus.

The standing water left behind by those summer rains is a great place for mosquitoes to breed. Jessica Rigler, chief for the bureau of epidemiology and disease control at the Arizona Department of Health Services, said mosquitoes like to lay eggs at the top of standing water.

“Those eggs can hatch, they form mosquitoes and some of those mosquitoes could spread disease,” Rigler said.

Rigler said they are not concerned as of right now that those mosquitoes will carry Zika. While there have been four Zika cases in the state, none of them are currently active.

“In order for those mosquitoes to be able to spread Zika, they would have to bite someone who is infected with Zika and then spread that to another person,” Rigler said.

She said the department is always concerned about mosquito breeding because they can carry many different diseases, like West Nile Virus. She said the best thing you can do is prevent mosquito breeding around your household. If it rains and you have standing water in flower pots, dog bowls or bird baths, it’s important to empty out the water.

“Everybody has a role to play in Zika prevention and mosquito-borne disease prevention,” Rigler said. “Everyone can take care of that standing water on their property to make sure that their families and communities are not at-risk.”

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