The number of confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Arizona recently reached 18. State health officials say they’re all travel related, but the breed of mosquito that could carry the virus does live in parts of northern Arizona. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports.
Aedes aegypti, isn’t as common as other mosquitoes in the region, and doesn’t even live in Coconino County. It does, however, have a presence in northwestern Arizona and the Verde Valley.
Mohave County officials are currently spraying for all mosquitoes and handing out mosquito prevention kits to the public. They’re also asking residents to get rid of any standing water in their property.
Aedes aegypti can breed in an area of water as small as a bottle cap. In addition, doctors across the region have been told to keep an eye out for patients with Zika symptoms. So far, no mosquito has tested positive in Arizona.
While Zika is a mild disease for most people who are infected, it’s been linked to severe birth defects in pregnant women. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the disease in Northern Arizona.