Maricopa County has 1st West Nile death in 2014 -

Maricopa County has 1st West Nile death in 2014

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Mosquito on human skin Mosquito on human skin
PHOENIX (AP) - Maricopa County has recorded its first death in 2014 from the West Nile virus.

County health officials say the victim was a man in his early 60s who lived in a southeastern suburb of Phoenix. The man had underlying health issues.

The mosquito-carried West Nile virus can cause severe illness in people and horses, although only about 20 percent of those infected will develop any symptoms.

The symptoms are usually like the flu and include fever, headache, body aches, and muscle weakness. More severe symptoms can include inflammation of brain which can lead to paralysis or death.

Department of Health Director Bob England says it's important to remove standing water where mosquitoes like to bred.

The mosquito-transmitted disease first was found in Arizona in 2003. Since then, more than 1,000 human cases have been reported. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches and muscle weakness.

Health officials urge people to follow these precautions:
  • Avoid outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

  • Wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and use an insect repellent if you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active. Always follow the directions on the label.

  • Make sure doors and windows have tight fitting screens and remain closed.

  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home by removing standing water in potted plants, tires, bird baths and other containers where water may collect.

  • Ensure that swimming pools and decorative water features are properly maintained.

  • Change water in flowerpots, birdbaths and pet watering bowls located outdoors at least twice per week.
For more information on the West Nile virus, report a green pool or to file a complaint, call 602-506-0700 or go to

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press modified.

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