Arizona reported its first confirmation of the West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne virus, in 2003. Please take a few moments to review how you can safeguard your family and home.
- The West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and can infect people, horses, many types of birds and other animals. Peak mosquito feeding hours occur from dusk until dawn.
- Only an estimated 1-3% of West Nile Virus infections will develop severe illness. Most people infected by the virus will either show no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever and body aches. Rarely do symptoms get more severe.
- On rare occasions, West Nile Virus infection can result in a severe and sometimes fatal illness known as West Nile encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
- The risk of severe disease is higher for persons 50 years of age and older.
- There is currently no vaccine available for the prevention of West Nile Virus.
- No evidence currently exists to suggest that West Nile Virus can be spread from person to person or from animal to person.
Prevention and Control - Help "Fight the Bite"
- Eliminate standing water which allows mosquitoes to breed. Check for items outside the home that collect water such as cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tires, drums and other containers.
- Change water in flower vases, bird baths, planters and animal watering pans at least twice a week.
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently.
- Avoid bites when going outside at night in areas where mosquitoes are present by using insect repellent.
- Wear light-weight clothing that covers the arms and legs.
Maricopa County Vector Control has established a West Nile virus hotline. Residents may call 602-506-0700 and select from the following menu:
- Option 1- Information on reporting green pools, stagnant water on private property, mosquitoes and a request to be included on a list of chemically sensitive citizens.
- Option 2- Information on nightly fogging activities and access to the West Nile virus public health hotline.
- Option 3 - Information on how to obtain mosquito eating fish and to speak to Maricopa County Vector Control.
You can also file an online "Environmental Services Complaint Form" with Maricopa County.
*All mosquito fogging is done through Maricopa County Vector Control.