How to Combat West Nile Virus By: Nathan Woolf Date: July 11, 2012West Nile Virus Information and Proactive Public Health Steps We Can Take Here in Phoenix, ArizonaThe local news is reporting recent cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the Valley. Unfortunately, Arizona has a disproportionate amount of WNV cases in the United States. In 2011, almost 10% of the documented cases nationally were here in Arizona and of the 43 documented deaths associated with WNV, 4 were in Arizona. (Source: Center for Disease Control).West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that generally get the virus from birds or other infected animals. Many more people are infected with West Nile Virus than become a reported case since the symptoms are common when someone is sick. An individual can have a headache, fever and body aches. People who die after becoming infected by WNV normally have weakened immune systems. These are often the elderly, those with HIV and individuals undergoing chemotherapy (Source: National Institute of Health).#1: Eliminating Standing Water on Your Property will Reduce Mosquito Breeding AreasDrill a hole in the bottom of a tire swing to allow trapped water to drain.Common pest control approaches are often ineffective since the areas where they breed, standing water, are generally not treated. Common breeding areas for mosquitoes around your home may include: water features that have the circulation turned off, potted plants that are over watered, pools that are not properly cared for and standing water created by broken or leaking sprinkler and/or drip systems. #2: Reduce the Chances of Getting Mosquito Bites if You Have a Weak Immune System If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to WNV due to your immune system here are some precautions that you can take. First, wear long-sleeves and long pants if you are going outside. This obviously can be uncomfortable in the Arizona heat, but better to be safe than sorry. You can also use a mosquito repellant with DEET as the active ingredient.West Nile Virus is Here to StayThere is more research being done to try to reduce or eliminate the negative impact of WNV on humans. We do not know how long it will take to get an effective anti-virus so for the foreseeable future, we will need to proactively combat WNV by reducing nesting and breeding areas and by reducing the likelihood of getting mosquito bites particularly for those individuals who may be more susceptible to the virus.If you have additional questions feel free to give Blue Sky Pest Control a call at 480-635-8492. We are here to help.