First probable West Nile virus case in Maricopa County under investigation

Aug 13, 2018, 2:44 PM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services said Monday it is investigating the first probable case of West Nile virus in Maricopa County this year.

There has been one confirmed case of the mosquito-borne disease in the state in 2018, in Pinal County. Neither Arizona case was fatal.

According to the latest statistics available for 2018, 20 mosquito pools in Maricopa County have tested positive for the virus. More than 6,000 pools were tested.

In 2017, the virus caused six deaths in Arizona. Of the state’s 110 probable or confirmed cases last year, 93 were in Maricopa County.

West Nile is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the state, although 4 in 5 people infected experience no symptoms.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 people infected develop symptoms such as fever, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Fatigue in those cases can linger for weeks or months.

About 1 in 150 infected develop serious illnesses affecting the central nervous system, including encephalitis or meningitis. The disease is fatal in about 1 in 10 of those who experience the severe symptoms.

To avoid mosquito bites, the Arizona DHS recommends that you wear insect repellent whenever you go outside and make sure screens on windows and doors are intact.

Also, keep yards clear of debris and standing water to reduce the areas where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

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First probable West Nile virus case in Maricopa County under investigation