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Mosquitoes collected from the Cheshire area in northwest Flagstaff tested positive for West Nile virus, Coconino County Health and Human Services confirmed Thursday.

It is the second sample group to test positive in the county this year, following ones discovered south of Lake Mary Road last week. County officials warn that the virus could be present in other areas throughout the region.

County staff have used non-toxic larvicide on water pools near the source of the mosquitoes and other locations throughout the county, and will continue to trap and test mosquitoes throughout the region until colder weather arrives.

The county has not had any known human cases of West Nile virus since two were reported in 2010. There is no specific treatment for the virus in humans other than supportive care; vaccines are available for horses, but not for humans.

About 80% of people infected with West Nile virus do not develop symptoms, which include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever symptoms and, in severe cases, hospitals can provide intravenous fluids, pain medication and nursing care.

If people experience symptoms, they should contact a healthcare provider.

To prevent mosquito bites, stay indoors during dusk and dawn — when these insects are most active — or wear clothing that covers the skin when outdoors, use screens on windows and doors and repair any screen holes, use air conditioning indoors and clean out outdoor items that hold water (tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots or trash containers) once a week.

Insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and IR3535 can also provide protection.

County officials advise residents to continue these preventative measures until cold weather returns in the fall and mosquito activity reduces.

For more information on the outbreak, call the Coconino County Health and Human Services Environmental Health office at 928-679-8750 or toll free 1-877-679-7272.

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