The Main Stream

Jun 29, 2012 12:53 PM

Mosquitoes pose West Nile threat

TUCSON- Southern Arizona summers mean heavy rain. The water left sitting in the sun creates an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Sometimes those pests carry the West Nile Virus. Last year Arizona reported 69 cases of the virus, the second most of any state in the country.

About 20 percent of victims will see symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The more mild symptoms include fever, headache, and nausea to name a few. More severe cases include high fever, vision loss, coma, tremors and paralysis.

Pima county has not seen any cases yet in the early breeding season. However, Maricopa County reported their first case this week. A woman in her 30's is currently recovering from meningitis after being infected by West Nile.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes and West Nile eliminate all standing water around your home.

"The areas where they are being found is in stagnant water where they are going to have a natural breeding site," said Pima County Health official Gregg Bustamante.

Gregg urges people to change water in flower pots, birdpaths and animal watering dishes. When going outside be sure to wear bug repellent and lightweight clothing that covers the entire body.

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