West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus that is transmitted by mosquito bites.
It can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation
of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Only an estimated 1-3% of
WNV infections, result in serious disease. Most people who are infected
will show no symptoms at all, or have mild flu-like symptoms such as headache,
fever and body aches. Rarely do symptoms get more severe.
For more information on West Nile Virus see the CDC website,
or visit the Maricopa County Public Health,
or call the West Nile Virus Public Information Hotline: 602-747-7500
Maricopa County Environmental Services Department maintains a year round mosquito surveillance program for West Nile Virus (WNV). Their surveillance activities indicate that WNV activity in Gilbert has been unusually active. The numbers appear to reflect more activity than previous years and could be a result of winter rains and other factors. As of July 2010, Maricopa County Public Health has 17 confirmed cases and 2 deaths from WNV in Maricopa County, most from the East Valley.
- Avoid outside activities between dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and use insect repellent if you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active. Always follow directions on the label.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight fitting screens and remain closed.
- Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around your home or business 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, bird baths and pet watering bowls located outdoors twice per week.
West Nile Virus can cause severe illness in people. Twenty percent of those infected will develop flu-like symptoms including; fever, headache, body aches, rash and muscle weakness. Some people, especially the elderly may experience more severe symptoms including high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and/or encephalitis or inflammation of the brain.
If you become aware of a green pool or other mosquito breeding site please report the site to 480-503-6439 or to Maricopa County at 602-506-6616. If Maricopa County has treated the pool you will find a public notice on the front door or window.
Dead Bird Surveillance
Because WNV causes death in birds, dead birds can be the first warning of WNV activity in an area. Since WNV is spread by mosquitoes feeding on infected birds, Maricopa County will be testing dead bird specimens for the presence of WNV.
The County will record and analyze dead bird reports, which will be used to identify areas for intensified surveillance of virus activity including bird testing, mosquito trapping and active disease surveillance.
If you should find a dead bird please report it to the County’s Complaint Line at 602-506-6616 or file your complaint online.
Upon submitting a report, citizens will be advised of the delivery process.
Please note these guidelines:
1) The bird must be freshly dead (less than 24 hours)
2) Not scavenged, no odor, no maggots, ants or other insects
3) Body must NOT be soft and mushy
4) Must NOT be a baby bird
5) Must NOT be a pigeon
6) Must NOT be a dove
• Birds must be kept chilled.
• Do not freeze. Freezing will kill the virus, if the virus is present.
• When handling the bird, please use gloves or the inverted plastic bag method.