West Nile Virus confirmed in Maricopa County woman

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PHOENIX -- A Maricopa County woman is Arizona's first case of West Nile Virus this year.

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First human case of West Nile virus in AZ

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The woman, who is in her 40s, has been released from a Valley hospital and is currently recovering from the virus.

"With the Independence Day holiday upon us, this first case is a reminder of the precautions we should all be taking this weekend," said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Public health officials recommend applying insect repellent, wearing long clothing, and avoiding outdoor activity after dusk and before dawn to reduce risk.

Health officials say residents should mosquito-proof their home by taking the following precautions:

Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around your property. Drain standing water in potted plants, tires and other containers.

Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

Keep fountains, animal troughs and swimming pools properly operating and free from debris.

"It's crucial that people do their part in helping us prevent the spread of the virus by reporting to our department any mosquito problems, green pools, or standing water, and by working with their neighbors to get rid of mosquito breeding areas on their property," said John Kolman, interim director for the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services.

Mosquitoes often pick up the virus from birds they bite and then spread it to people.

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with the virus will feel flu-like symptoms three to 15 days after the mosquito bite.

Symptoms may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, and skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.

A small percentage of people who are infected with the virus will experience severe symptoms, such as meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death.

People over the age of 50 are generally at a higher risk for severe symptoms.

Health officials say that although the majority of people who become infected with the virus will show no symptoms at all, for a small percentage of people it can be serious or even fatal.

For more information on West Nile Virus, call 602-506-0700 or visit or .