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  • Mosquitoes

    Fight the BiteMosquitoes have a serious impact on the health, comfort, and economic welfare of people. Some mosquito species transmit diseases to people and animals. Not only can mosquitoes interfere with outdoor work and recreation they also can make people very sick. Mosquitoes in southern Arizona can spread diseases such as West Nile virus, Dengue and Chikungunya.

    Currently, no cases of Zika virus have been reported in Arizona. The virus has been identified in people from the U.S. who traveled to areas where the virus was circulating. The type of mosquito that could spread Zika virus is present in Arizona, but the virus has not been found here. Preventing mosquito bites both in Arizona and when traveling is the best way to prevent Zika. Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika is circulating.

    Prevention

    Concerns or complaints about mosquitoes, call: (520) 724-7908​

    Regardless of the hot and normally dry temperatures, mosquitoes are active day and night throughout the year. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to take measures to prevent mosquito bites.

    Here are some preventative steps that you can easily take:

    • Keep mosquitoes off of your body. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. If you are not wearing long-sleeved pants and shirts, use insect repellent on exposed skin.
    • Keep mosquitoes out of your yard. Walk through your yard and check for areas that collect water. Standing water is the ideal place for mosquitoes to breed, so change outdoor pet water daily and replace with fresh water and make sure things like plant containers, tires, or other items are not collecting water.
    • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. If you want the fresh air in the evening, feel free to open your windows, but check your window screens for holes and repair immediately. Do not leave doors open if you do not have a screen door to act as a mosquito barrier.

    Other good reminders:

    • Use mosquito repellents that contain DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
    • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently.
    • Report mosquito breeding problems (e.g. green pools) to (520) 243-7999 (or filling out the feedback form to the right).

    West Nile Virus

    Treatments

    The chance of getting sick from West Nile Virus is low. Most people who are exposed to the West Nile virus do not have any symptoms, or have a mild illness that goes away on its own within a few days to a few weeks.
    Less than one out of 150 people who become ill with West Nile Virus will develop a more serious form of the infection such as meningitis or encephalitis, which will require hospitalization. Treatment is mostly supportive care. Currently, there is no vaccine for humans.

    Vaccines are available for horses. People are encouraged to vaccinate their horses. Pet birds should be kept indoors to limit mosquito exposure. Other livestock and pets are rarely affected by the West Nile virus. If you have questions or concerns about your livestock, please consult your veterinarian.

    Dengue Fever

    Currently Arizona has positive cases of Dengue that are related to travel to endemic countries. Dengue can present initially with:

    - high fever  - muscle pain 
    - joint pain (typically in hands and feet) - nausea 
    - rash  - vomiting 
    - headache   

    If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms like those listed above and you have traveled out of the country, you should contact your healthcare provider. There is currently no vaccine or medicine used to cure Dengue.

    Transmission

    • Does not spread human to human
    • Unaffected person can be bit by an infected mosquito (of the aedes species) but not everyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito will develop the disease.

    Chikungunya Virus

    Currently Arizona has positive cases of Chikungunya that are related to travel to endemic countries. Chikungunya can present initially with:

    - high fever  - muscle pain 
    - joint pain (typically in hands and feet) - nausea 
    - rash  - vomiting 
    - headache   

    If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms like those listed above and you have traveled out of the country, you should contact your healthcare provider. There is currently no vaccine or medicine used to cure Chikungunya.

    Transmission

    • Does not spread human to human
    • Unaffected person can be bit by an infected mosquito (of the aedes species), but not everyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito will develop the disease.

    Zika Virus

    Zika is a virus spread by the bite of an infected mosquito — Aedes spp — which is the same mosquito that can spread dengue and chikungunya.

    Symptoms usually start 2–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

    Zika can cause: 

    - high fever  - joint pain
    - rash - red/swollen eyes

    It is typically a mild illness and symptoms usually only last a few days to a week.

    Only about one in five people infected with Zika will feel sick. Zika doesn’t usually require hospitalization.

    Zika is circulating in several countries and territories in the Americas, including Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. It was first identified in May 2015 in Brazil.

    An increased number of microcephaly, or smaller than expected head size, and fetal losses have been identified in babies born to mothers who were infected with Zika while pregnant. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

    There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

    Additional Zika Resources

    Zika Infographic ( JPG | PDF )
    Aedes Aegypti Mosquito Infographic ( JPG | PDF )
    Mosquito Breeding Infographic ( JPG | PDF )


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    Health Department

    3950 S. Country Club Road
    Ste. 100
    Tucson, AZ 85714

    (520) 724-7770


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