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Maricopa County records its first West Nile death in 2019



PHOENIX – Maricopa County Department of Public Health says they have recorded the first Western death in 2019 in Maricopa County.

So far this year, 27 human cases of West Nile viruses have been reported, including a death.

The person who died was an older adult who had other existing health conditions, according to the Ministry of Health.

"This tragic death serves as an important reminder for all of us to do our part in protecting us, our family, and our neighborhoods from mosquito-borne diseases," Dr. Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, Medical Director of the Disease Control Department at Maricopa County Public Health Department. "With monsoon season over us it is likely that we will see even more mosquito activity. Use insecticides when you are outdoors and get rid of water outside your home where mosquitoes can grow, like pets, houseplants, even toys."

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Those over 60 years of age have underlying medical conditions or depressed immune systems are at higher risk for the more severe form of the West Nile virus, according to the Ministry of Health.

"Public health works very closely with caregivers, Maricopa County Environmental Services and state and federal partners to maintain a strong monitoring system for both humans and mosquitoes and to put in place preventive strategies," Dr. Sunenshine said.

Maricopa County released The following precautions for mosquitoes:

  • Avoid mosquito bites day and night
  • Use insecticides containing DEET, Picaridin or other EPA registered repellents according to product designation on exposed skin and clothing
  • Empty and remove containers holding water from your home where mosquitoes can be bred, such as plastic decks, buckets, old tires, plant trays, pet bowls, toys and boats
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl or inside potted plants where mosquitoes lay their eggs
  • Make sure that doors and windows have tight screens, none holes and remain closed
  • If it is not too hot, use nd lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs [1
    9659010] Ensure swimming pools and decorative water features are properly maintained

In 2018, Maricopa County had 24 human cases of Western virus and six deaths.


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