Recent monsoon rain has dramatically increased mosquito activity throughout northern and central Arizona. It’s led to a spike in diseases spread by the insect, and Coconino County Health officials are urging the public to take precautions against being bitten. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports.
Officials say people should wear long pants and sleeves and apply repellent before going outside, especially after dusk. Residents are also being advised to mosquito-proof their homes by repairing window screens and emptying standing water.
West Nile Virus is at its peak right now in Arizona. There have been 34 confirmed or probable cases along with two deaths so far this year. None of those cases have been in the northern portion of the state, but the virus can still spread at higher elevations.
In addition, mosquitoes that can carry the Zika Virus live in the Verde Valley and Mohave County. No mosquitoes in the state, however, have tested positive for Zika.