Help Prevent West Nile Virus
This week, during routine seasonal mosquito surveillance, the Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD) detected West Nile Virus (WNV) positive mosquitoes in the county. It is especially important for everyone to be vigilant in preventing mosquito breeding and mosquito bites now that we have had some significant monsoon rains.
Not all mosquitoes transmit WNV. Pinal County Environmental Health’s vector control program staff do regular surveillance throughout the county looking for the specific mosquitoes associated with human disease. This mosquito surveillance data is then used to guide PCPHSD’s disease prevention efforts and help reduce the risk of mosquito borne disease to Pinal County residents and visitors.
Chris Reimus, who manages the County’s Environmental Health program said, “Last year we had a significant West Nile Virus season in Pinal County and statewide. This year, things have progressed more slowly, but it is still important to be vigilant to protect our community. Our program focuses on surveillance and source reduction of mosquito breeding areas. If everyone does their share to reduce mosquito breeding in the community, it can go a long way to protect our citizens and their families from 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. The PCPHSD would like to remind everyone that there is quite a bit that can be done to help prevent mosquito borne disease such as WNV.
• If you have a swimming pool, 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.
• 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, bird baths, planters, troughs, and animal watering pans at least twice a week.
• Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to prevent standing water.
• Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. Take extra care to use insect repellent and protective clothing. When outdoors, use an EPA-registered and CDC approved insect repellent.
• Keep mosquitoes outside by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors.
Pinal County 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 webpage at http://pinal.gov/ehs, or call 866-287-0209.