New mosquito virus finds way to Arizona - Tucson News Now

New mosquito virus finds way to Arizona

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Monsoon rains bring out pools of water which bring out mosquitoes. Health officials say that also brings out the diseases spread by them. One of which is a rare disease that is beginning to show in Arizona.   

Most of us have heard that mosquitoes can carry viruses like West Nile, but there is a new virus that's raising concern. It's called chikungunya. So what exactly is it?

Health officials say its a virus transmitted by mosquitoes that can cause fever and severe joint pain. They also say it's not deadly or as severe as West Nile Virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it's found mostly in Asia and in the Caribbean. However, the CDC reports there have been 153 cases in the United States and surrounding territories so far this year.

The Arizona Department of Health Services says one case has been reported in Arizona. Officials say all of these cases were all travel-related.

But there are more mosquitoes now that the rainy season is here. Public health experts say it's possible chikungunya could spread.

"The mosquitoes that do carry chikungunya do live in Arizona. It is possible that if we get more cases imported to Arizona, it could begin to spread in the way the West Nile does," said Jessica Rigler with the state health department.

 Rigler said to keep standing water clear from your property and living areas. Also, she said to wear repellant and to cover your skin.

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