STUDY: West Nile virus appears to remain in Maricopa County

January 21, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) – A new study suggests that a strain of the West Nile virus is going to remain in Arizona’s most populous county for the foreseeable future.

Arizona researchers say that the same mild winters that bring snowbirds to Maricopa County also let mosquitoes and certain virus-reservoir birds survive winter to spread West Nile anew when the weather warms up.

Phoenix radio station KJZZ reports the study concludes that potentially deadly virus seems to be endemic to the county which includes the Phoenix metro area.

Experts say the West Nile is the foremost source of mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. The virus reportedly first entered the country in 1999 in New York City and was detected in Maricopa County four years later.

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