Official: Zika virus not likely to spread in Arizona

Mar 29, 2016, 6:25 PM
In this Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes float in a mosquito cage at a...

In this Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes float in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the vector that transmits the Zika virus, and also dengue and chikunguna. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)

(AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)

PHOENIX — After Arizona confirmed its first case of the Zika virus on Monday, many residents have been wondering how state health officials are planning to tackle the problem head-on.

The mosquito-transmitted virus was first discovered in Maricopa County, after an older woman traveled to a Zika-affected area before developing symptoms of illness.

Dr. Cara Christ with the Arizona Department of Health Services said while Arizona is home to the mosquito that transmits Zika — the Aedes aegypti mosquito — those bugs do not carry the virus right now, meaning there is a “low risk” that the disease will spread.

That type of mosquito also transmits the dengue and chikungunya viruses. Christ said the state has had to prevent local transmission of these type of diseases in the past, which has prepared them for responding to Zika.

“Because we’ve known of the risk of dengue and chikungunya potentially coming to Arizona, we have had plans in place for the last several years on how we would respond,” she said. “So our plans were just updated to involve Zika.”

Since the virus seems to have only taken refuge in one Arizona resident, Christ said preliminary steps to prevent a spread are pretty simple, including removing standing water and ensuring the infected patient is treated for.

In case of a statewide spread, Christ said health officials do have specific plans to stay ahead of the disease.

“If you’ve got wider spread (of the Zika virus), then that involves the entire community,” she said. “You’d have prevention messaging, you’d be working on a county-wide or statewide basis to ensure that there was adequate vector control and that you were trapping and doing testing.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Peixoto Coffee)...

Chandler-based Peixoto Coffee expands to new mixed-use development in Gilbert

Family-owned Peixoto Coffee opened Tuesday morning in Gilbert’s Epicenter at Agritopia near Ray and Higley roads.
8 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Rio Verde Fire District)...
Jim Cross

Prop 310 would create tax to help fund rural Arizona fire districts

Here are the pros and cons of Arizona's Prop 310, which would create a 0.1% statewide sales tax to help fund rural fire districts.
8 hours ago
(Facebook Photo)...

2 Arizona defense companies awarded contract worth nearly $1 billion

Two Arizona defense companies were awarded a nearly $1 billion cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for hypersonic missiles last week.
8 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kevin Stone

New Arizona law doubles duration of protective orders to 2 years

A new Arizona law that went into effect Saturday doubles the duration of protective orders from one year to two.
8 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Scottsdale Waterfront)...

Taste of Italy and Music festival coming to Scottsdale waterfront Oct. 15-16

For wine, panini and pizza fanatics in the Valley, a festival highlighting Italian culture is set to come next month. 
8 hours ago
Follow @CorbinCarson...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Official: Zika virus not likely to spread in Arizona