Two victims who were over 80 years old and with comorbidities have died from West Nile Virus, according to Pinal County officials.
“Pinal County Public Health regrets to announce the first deaths in the county this year resulting from West Nile Virus,” according to an Oct. 20 release.
“2021 has proved to be the harshest West Nile Virus year in Pinal County’s history. Public health has seen 46 confirmed cases so far, with a further 61 potential cases under investigation. This is consistent with what has been seen across the state of Arizona after a heavy monsoon that allowed the mosquitoes that spread the disease to proliferate,” the release states.
While temperatures are dropping and there has been less rainfall, the dangers of West Nile Virus are still present.
“This has been an unusually challenging West Nile Virus season,” Chris Reimus, division manager for environmental health, said in the release. “Even though it is cooling down and the season is coming to an end, it is important that people remain vigilant in avoiding mosquitoes and preventing mosquito breeding.”
West Nile Virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental U.S. It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.
West Nile Virus can cause a mild illness that lasts for a few days or a more serious condition that affects the central nervous system. The risk of developing a more serious disease increases with age, compromised immune status and presence of comorbidities.
Arizona has an above-average incidence of neuroinvasive disease caused by West Nile Virus at greater than 0.75 cases per 100,000 population. If you have had a recent mosquito exposure and experience symptoms like fever, fatigue, joint pains, stiff neck, or altered mental state, consult your health care provider, the release states.
For more information, go to cdc.gov/westnile/index.html.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here