Posted 10:48 PM 8/29/2012 : Record week for West Nile virus
TUCSON - West Nile, it's peak season for the virus.
Nationwide there's been a 40-percent jump in cases since last week.
So far this year 12 cases have been reported in Arizona, 11 in Maricopa and one in Pinal county.
With Labor Day weekend upon us many will be holding backyard barbecues and other outdoor events.
Health officials say the number one tip for homeowners, is drain standing water where mosquitoes breed.
A young woman News 4 spoke to knows a thing or two about mosquito bites. She's covered in them.
"My feet definitely, I have a lot more on my legs," she says. The result of a recent camping trip. "I counted more than 30."
Around town homeowners are doing what they can to keep the pesky bugs away.
Showing off his clean backyard fountain, Sam Fatovich says, "I do change the water every six weeks, and I keep it running so mosquitoes won't breed in it."
That's good advice, health officials recommend following the "Four D's" for West Nile defense:
Use repellants with DEET, dress in long sleeves and pants, stay indoors at dusk and dawn and drain standing water.
"Bird baths, dog dishes, buckets that can retain water, turn them over, " says Gregg Bustamante with the Pima County Health Department.
He says Pima County is aggressively fighting the threat, "What we're doing is trapping on a regular basis specific sites around Pima county. We're also doing in-house testing for West Nile. We're also addressing complaints within 24 to 72 hours of receiving the complaints."
Tucsonans offer up their own advice to those dealing with problem mosquitoes.
Chrisi Shelton recommends, "Benadryl, cortisone cream seems to help some."
"Stay inside, I tried Off, I tried citronella candles, it just didn't work," says the woman with the mosquito bites.
Fatovich says, "Don't leave standing water in your backyard, that's what breeds mosquitoes."
To report mosquito complaints, or standing water such as abandoned swimming pools contact the Pima County Health Department hotline at (520) 740-2760.
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