From AZ Big Media
February 18, 2019
Every day is a challenge for Bruce Gran, 52, who was diagnosed with West Nile virus seven years ago.
“From Day 1, it’s been a migraine-caliber headache,” the Tucson resident said. “My short term-memory is terrible. I’m not old enough to be having the effects that I have. ”
Gran is one of the hundreds of Arizonans who have been infected by West Nile since the mosquito-borne disease was discovered in the state in 2003.
Sixteen years later, the virus is here to stay, according to a study from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix. And the southern half of Arizona appears to be an ongoing source of West Nile in neighboring states.
There are several types of mosquitoes in Arizona, but the two main ones that carry West Nile – Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus – stay year-round due to central Arizona’s mild winters, TGEN associate professor David Engelthaler said.
“We could actually find the remnants of the original strain that affected the U.S. in New York and has marched its way across the U.S.,” he said. “There’s another evolving strain that has been evolving in Texas and is now a permanent resident in Maricopa County as well.”