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State health: One confirmed West Nile Virus case in Pima County

West Nile virus symptoms are similar to COVID-19 at first, experts say
Posted at 1:08 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 16:08:15-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County has had one confirmed 2021 case of West Nile Virus. There has been another probable case of the mosquito-carried virus in the county.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Pima County is one of four Arizona counties with at least one confirmed case.

Maricopa has had the most cases, with 78 confirmed and 31 more probable cases. Pinal County has had 8 confirmed cases and 12 probable. Apache has had one confirmed case.

"We are currently seeing high levels of West Nile virus infection across many parts of the United States, including a higher number than normal of people with neuroinvasive disease ― the most severe form of infection," says Dr. Bobbi Pritt [], director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory in Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, in a press release. "In neuroinvasive disease, the brain and surrounding tissues become inflamed, resulting in permanent brain damage and even death. Approximately 1 in 10 people with neuroinvasive disease die, and those who survive are often left with permanent disabilities."

Experts advise using bug spray to ward off mosquitoes while outside, as well as limiting lights while indoors. Eliminating standing water helps prevent mosquito breeding.