/ Modified may 17, 2016 9:50 a.m.

Mosquito Season Brings Worry of West Nile More Than Zika

Health officials say West Nile Virus is a danger in Arizona; 7 deaths last year.

mosquito SPOT


Mosquitoes are at their busiest in Arizona from May until October.

Itchy, red bumps are not the only thing a bite from the insect can cause.

Mosquitoes can transmit blood-borne illnesses when they feed, including West Nile virus, Dengue Fever, Zika virus, Chikungunya, and St. Louis encephalitis.

While all of those diseases have been confirmed in Arizona residents, most have been cases where the illness was contracted outside the state.

There is one disease that has health officials worried each mosquito season, West Nile virus.

“So far we’ve not had any local transmission of Zika, Dengue or Chikungunya, so we don’t expect those to be a concern currently," said Arizona Health Department's Jessica Rigler. "However, the more people can do to prevent mosquito breeding, the less likely we are to have those diseases be a concern in the future.”

Mosquito breeding can be prevented by eliminating pools of water, which act as mosquito breeding grounds.

People can also avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves or using insect repellent.

Pima County had three confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in Pima County last year, and 26 probable cases. Seven people died from West Nile statewide. The number of deaths in Pima County was not available.

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