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West Nile virus at high levels in Arizona due to wet monsoon

September 22, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — This year’s wet monsoon in Arizona is contributing to a record-high season for the West Nile virus, which is spread through mosquito bites, health officials said.

Arizona had 123 cases and four deaths through late last week, the state Department of Health Services said Tuesday.

Nearly all of the cases were reported in Maricopa County, where the virus has been detected in record numbers of mosquitos studied, the department said.

While most people infected with West Nile don’t get symptoms, older people and those with weakened immune systems are more prone to diseases that be fatal.

Health officials recommend wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to help prevent mosquito bites on arms and legs and eliminating standing water where mosquitos lay their eggs.