FLORENCE — Pinal County health officials have confirmed the first West Nile virus case of the 2021 mosquito season in a Pinal County resident.
The mosquito season starts in the summer and continues through fall every year.
West Nile is a mosquito-transmitted disease, the most common in the continental United States. The disease was introduced in the country in 1999 and the first case in Arizona was detected in 2003. From 2016 to 2021, there have been 12 other confirmed cases and 12 probable cases in Pinal County.
The Pinal County Public Health Services District said most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick, but about 20% develop minor symptoms like headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. In a very small proportion, less than 1%, the virus affects the nervous system, leading to a more serious illness.
People over 60 and/or with certain comorbidities, like diabetes, hypertension and cancer, among others, are at greater risk to develop severe illness. West Nile is not diagnosed only by symptoms and requires confirmatory lab tests by a health care provider.