West Nile Virus in Maricopa County
Arizona reported its first confirmation of the West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne virus, in 2003. Based on historical data, health officials have determined that subsequent years see a sharp increase in related problems associated with the West Nile Virus. Please take a few moments to review how you can safeguard your family and home.
Maricopa County is the lead agency in dealing with this problem countywide. Please consult the resources at the bottom of this page for more information on dealing with West Nile related issues.
West Nile Virus Facts:
- 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/Control for Citizens
- 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 containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) on your clothes (not skin). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after application and avoid contact with your eyes.
- Wear light-weight clothing that covers the arms and legs.
For general information and fogging schedules, or to report chemical sensitivity, mosquitoes, dead birds and green pools visit Maricopa County's Web site or call the Maricopa County West Nile Hotline at (602) 506-0700
To report standing water in Peoria, contact the City of Peoria West Nile Hotline at (623) 773-7310 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the West Nile Virus, visit the Maricopa County West Nile Information Web site.