PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- County health workers said cases of West Nile Virus are now predicted to hit a five year high.

At this rate, they anticipate infected mosquitoes to be flying around Maricopa County until November.

WATCH: West Nile cases are at a 5 year high

“We have mosquitoes in Maricopa County that don't just bite at dawn and dusk, but also ones that bite all day long," said Rebecca Sunenshine, Medical Director at the Maricopa County Dept. of Public Health.

So far this year, the Arizona Department of Health confirmed 16 West Nile cases, all in Maricopa County.

According to the numbers, that is already more than all of last year when there were 12.

Health workers said the increase of cases comes as the busy season for West Nile, the monsoon, just got started.

"We don't want anyone in the Valley to feel like it's not here. It's all over the Valley, so everybody who goes outside needs to wear insect repellant," Sunenshine said.

At this rate, county health experts said Maricopa County will likely see the most West Nile cases in five years.

Experts said only 20-percent of people have symptoms.

"When we see such a steep increase in the number of cases. and we know there are so many infected mosquitoes out there, we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves,” said Sunenshine.

 


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