West Nile Virus

Fight the Bite, Arizona!                              Fight the Bite


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Basic Facts

  • West Nile is a virus that mainly infects birds
  • Mosquitoes that feed on infected birds, take in the virus
  • They can transmit it to other animals and humans they bite later
  • The virus is not passed on person to person
  • Most people who are bitten by mosquitoes are not bitten by an infected mosquito
  • Most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito do not get sick
  • Most people who do get sick get a mild disease
  • A very few people can develop severe disease

As of August 2012, West Nile Virus has NOT been identified in humans in Santa Cruz County. West nile is again expected to spread to Arizona sometime in the next few months, or next year. It is spread over large distances via migratory birds. The virus can be transmitted to a person only by a mosquito that was previously infected by an infected bird. The risk of individuals becoming infected is very low, and can be further reduced by following the guidelines below.

Help reduce the number of mosquitoes by taking these simple steps to eliminate breeding sites for mosquitoes.

  1. Get rid of all standing water in your yard. Check your yard 2 or 3 times per week, especially after rains, and remove water from cans, bottles, buckets, old tires, or anything that will hold water. Even ¼ inch of water on top of a can lid can allow mosquitoes to breed.
  2. Repair leaky faucets that can cause puddles, and make sure rain gutters are not clogged.
  3. Change water in flower vases, planters, and animal water bowls 2 or 3 times week.
  4. Keep grass and weeds cut short.

Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by taking these precautions.

  1. Use insect repellants. Repellants containing D.E.E.T. are considered most effective. Always follow label instructions, especially when treating children.
  2. Wear lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs (long-sleeves and long pants).
  3. Avoid being outdoors in the late afternoon and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.

Additional Mosquito and West Nile Virus Information