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West Nile virus among concerns with increased mosquito population

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Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-12 19:42:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — With the recent rain we’ve seen thanks to monsoon, you may have noticed more pesky bugs out in the area.

Gene Hall, the manager of the University of Arizona’s insect collection, says it’s nothing new to Southern Arizona.

“The insects that we’re seeing right now are most of the insects we would see during this time of year, but not in these numbers,” said Hall.

Specifically, our area is seeing more mosquitoes, which means more than just nasty bites on your body. Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Heidi Brown says, “here in Arizona we worry about West Nile most in terms of mosquito borne diseases. Usually, we start seeing more West Nile cases this time of year.”

What should you be on the lookout for if you do get bitten? Brown says looks for flu like symptoms like illness and fever. If you do start to feel those symptoms, go see a doctor.

While it may seem uncommon to get the virus, there’s no telling what each year will look like.

“It varies from year to year based on previous immunities," Brown said. "So, if we have West Nile blow through the area the year before, we’re probably going to get less the year after.”

To avoid contact with mosquitoes, limit any light you have on indoors. Use bug spray if you’re outside. And be sure to limit any water sources to help mitigate whether or not the mosquitoes have a place to breed.