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Maricopa County records first death of West Nile in 2019



PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Public Health Department reported the first West Nile death in 2019 in Maricopa County.

So far this year, 27 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported, including death.

The deceased was an elderly person who had other health problems, according to the Ministry of Health.

"This tragic death reminds all of us that we must do our part to protect ourselves and our families and neighborhoods from mosquito-borne diseases," said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, Medical Director of the Division of Disease Control. of Maricopa County. public health. "With the monsoon season approaching, it is likely that we will see even more mosquito activity. Use an insect repellent when you are outdoors and get rid of water from outside your home, where mosquitoes can breed, such as pet food, potted plants and even the toys. "

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According to the Ministry of Health, people over 60 with underlying medical conditions or depressed immune systems are at a higher risk of contracting the more severe form of West Nile virus.

"Public Health works closely with health care providers, Maricopa County Environmental Services, and federal and state partners to maintain a strong surveillance system for humans and mosquitoes, and to put in place strategies for prevention, "said Dr. Sunenshine.

Maricopa County has published the following precautions regarding mosquitoes:

  • Avoid mosquito bites day and night
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or other insect repellents registered with the EPA, according to the product label, on exposed skin and clothing.
  • Drain and remove containers that hold water around the house where mosquitoes can breed, such as plastic lids, buckets, worn tires, plant tubs, pet bowls, toys, and boats.
  • Scrape the sides of the dish or inside potted plants where mosquitoes lay their eggs
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight screens, are not punctured and stay closed
  • If it's not too hot, wear light clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Make sure the pools and decorative water games are well maintained

In 2018, Maricopa County had 24 human cases of West Nile virus and six deaths.

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