west nile mosquito

This is a map where all the West Nile-infected mosquitoes have been found in Maricopa County. 

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It was a hot one on Wednesday, but thanks to our wet winter and cool spring, the mosquitoes aren't done yet.

[MAP: West Nile-infected mosquitoes in Maricopa County]

And it seems they're carrying more diseases this year, like West Nile virus.

[WATCH: Record number of mosquitoes testing positive for diseases in Maricopa County]

"Some people will only have flu-like symptoms, and may not even know they have West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis. But what we're really concerned with is those who come down with the neuroinvasive, so they'll have encephalitis or meningitis or neurological issues and possibly even fatal," said Steve Young, a Maricopa County Environmental Services Department vector lab technologist.

[RELATED: West Nile virus now is a permanent part of Arizona’s ecosystem, study finds]

Every day, Young and his team collect mosquitoes from traps around the Valley and tests them for diseases.

Right now, a record number of mosquitoes are testing positive.

"A lot higher, like a lot lot higher," said Young.

[RELATED: Study: West Nile virus appears to endemic in Maricopa County]

Already this year, they've found nearly 220 mosquitoes carrying West Nile, and 102 more with St. Louis encephalitis.

It's almost the same level as all of 2018 and it's only June.

"And if the trend keeps going all the way into the monsoons, that's a pretty scary idea too. So if we're starting this far ahead of schedule and it's not even monsoon time yet, that's potentially a powder keg," said Young.

The County vector lab thinks we will see the highest number of infected mosquitoes in the last 10 years.

"It does indicate that there's probably a higher risk of being exposed to the virus," said Young.

So far in Maricopa County, two people already have been diagnosed with West Nile.

To try and fight it, the County has been fogging problem neighborhoods. And they say it's more important than ever to drain any standing water and wear protective clothes and bug spray while you're outside.

"It only takes one mosquito bite and then you're exposed to virus,” said Young.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Tags

Recommended for you