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Aug 2, 2012 2:44 PM

Mosquitoes in Maricopa test positive for West Nile virus

MARICOPA - After mosquitoes trapped in the area test positive for West Nile virus, Pinal County Environmental Health Services will conduct a mosquito fogging next week.

So far this year, Pinal County has not had a human case of West Nile virus.

Fogging will take place, weather permitting, in the following area: City of Maricopa - Mobile Road to the north, Garvey Road to the southwest and John Wayne Parkway to the east. The fogging will be done before 5:00 am on Aug 8- Aug 10.

The pesticide that will be used during fogging is called Anvil. It is a pre-mixed, ready-to-use product that contains two active ingredients: Sumithrin (2%) and piperonyl butoxide (2%). Sumithrin is a man-made version of a natural pesticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. Piperonyl butoxide enhances the ability of Sumithrin to kill mosquitoes. Anvil is registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency and is effective against the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.

There are several things that residents can do to reduce exposure during fogging:

• Close all windows and doors. Air conditioners can still be operated, but if they have vents to bring in outside air, they should be closed. Turn off evaporative coolers.
• Stay inside your home.
• If possible, bring pets inside.
• Thirty minutes after the end of the scheduled fogging each night, you may resume normal activities.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile virus can cause severe illness in people and horses, although not everyone who is infected will develop symptoms. People of all ages can be affected however, the elderly may be more prone to serious illness. County health officials urge all county residents to "Fight the Bite" and follow these simple personal precautions to avoid mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry:

• Avoid outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
• If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and use an insect repellent containing an EPA registered active ingredient such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always follow the directions on the label.
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and remain closed. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes in them.
• Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home by removing standing water in potted plants, tires, bird baths and other containers where water may collect.
• Ensure that swimming pools and decorative water features are properly maintained.
• Change water in flowerpots, birdbaths and pet watering bowls located outdoors at least twice per week.

What Are the Symptoms of West Nile?
No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately, 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with West Nile will not show any symptoms at all.

Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

The County has a mosquito hotline and a webpage. If you would like information on mosquito prevention and control, please call: 866-287-0209, ext. 6200, or visit the West Nile virus webpage at: http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/EnvironmentalHealth/Pages/Home.aspx.

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