Get ready to fight the bite!

Are you ready to fight the bite?

Mosquito season is about to peak with the onset of monsoon rains, which means Cochise County residents should be taking extra precautions to avoid being bitten, and the possibility of contracting a disease.

While most common mosquito-borne diseases in Arizona are West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis, cases of Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika have been identified due to travelers who bring the illnesses back from other areas.

Cochise Health & Social Services continues to monitor mosquito activity in the region. In 2017, 15 mosquito traps were set up in populated areas with mosquitos testing positive for both West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis.

This year, the County will expand monitoring efforts to include 24 traps. This surveillance helps identify areas where targeted mosquito control may be needed.

Viruses are transmitted from person to person through an infected mosquito bite – a mosquito bites someone infected with the virus and becomes infected itself, then bites healthy people and infects them.

Symptoms for the most common diseases can start about one week after the bite and can include fever, chills, rash, joint/muscle pain, body aches, nausea, and vomiting. Additionally, Zika can cause birth defects in babies born to women infected during pregnancy. For most diseases spread by mosquitos, there are no vaccines or cures available.

If you are bitten by a mosquito and experience any of the symptoms described above, visit your doctor immediately.

To help protect yourself you should:

  • Wear bug spray, preferably with 30% DEET or stronger. Reapply as day goes by.
  • Make sure open doors and windows have intact screens.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants when outdoors.
  • Remove standing water around the house and yard (such as old tires, bird baths, flower pots, children’s pools).
  • Protect yourself from mosquitoes while traveling to areas where these viruses are prevalent.

For more information about destination-specific health risks and recommendations visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/list/

For more information on mosquitoes visit www.azhealth.gov/mosquito

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