The Zika Virus and Mosquitos - An Emerging Public Health Emergency
Zika is a virus spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito, the Aedes, is the same mosquito that can spread dengue and chikungunya.
La Paz County and "ADHS continue to monitor the Zika virus situation and we are in regular communication with CDC in order to keep our local public health partners, healthcare providers, and community informed and up to date on the situation. The main way Zika virus spreads is through the bite of an infected mosquito. In rare cases, Zika virus can spread through blood transfusion, through sexual contact, or from a mother to a child during pregnancy or birth. No cases of Zika virus have been reported in Arizona. The best way to protect yourself from Zika virus, and other mosquito-borne diseases, is by protecting yourself from mosquitos."
-Dr. Cara Christ
Arizona Department of Health Services
SYMPTOMS: Zika can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and red/swollen eyes. It is a relatively mild illness that usually doesn’t require hospitalization and lasts only a few days to a week.
BIRTH DEFECTS: There are significant risks associated with a Zika virus infection during pregnancy. An increased number of microcephaly, or smaller than expected head size, and fetal losses have been identified in babies born to mother who were infected with Zika while pregnant. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.
TRAVEL AREAS: An outbreak of the Zika virus was first identified in Brazil in May 2015. Since then, Zika has been circulating in several countries and territories throughout the Americas, including Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. While Zika has been identified in people from the U.S. who traveled to areas where the virus was circulating, there has been NO documented transmission of the Zika virus within the continental United States. There have also been NO identified Zika cases in the state of Arizona or La Paz County.
PREVENTION: The best way to prevent Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, both in Arizona and when traveling outside the U.S., is to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants, using screens in windows, and applying an effective insect repellant (such as DEET). It is also recommended that pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika is present. Pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with Zika transmission and who have symptoms compatible with Zika or ultrasound findings of fetal microcephaly should consult their primary care physician and be tested for the Zika virus.
For more information on Zika, please visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/zika. If you have any questions about Zika, please do not hesitate to contact your doctor or La Paz County Health Department at (928) 669-1100.
The CDC has the most current information on Zika!
At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.
Prevent Mosquito Bites
Mosquito Season is Already Upon Us!
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.
It first appeared in North America in 1999, and spread across the United States. WNV was first detected in Arizona in 2003 and hasn't left.
Arizona Department of Health Services tracks data and maps of WNV in Arizona.
Prevent Mosquito Bites