The month of October is high mosquito season in Sonora, Mexico and there have been reports of local transmission of dengue and Zika viruses. With the upcoming three-day weekend and many schools on fall break over the next several weeks, it’s important to remind Arizonans about increased mosquito activity in Sonora in the event they are visiting.
If you are visiting Sonora this month, including popular resort destinations like Rocky Point, take precautions to protect you and your family from mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, Zika, and chikungunya:
- Protect yourself with an EPA-registered insect repellent
- Apply sunscreen before applying repellent
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants
- Keep doors and windows closed or make sure they are covered with in-tact screens
It’s just as important to protect your community from mosquito-borne diseases when you return to Arizona. After your trip, protect yourself from mosquito bites for three weeks. Whether you’re here in Arizona or traveling abroad, make sure you fight the bite!
I live at Broadway and Signal Butte, and we have spotted tiger striped mosquitos. Should we be concerned?
Thank you for reaching out to Arizona Department of Health Services! Arizona does have the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which has striping on it. You can see a picture here. While this mosquito is capable of transmitting diseases such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika virus, there is no evidence that these viruses are here in Arizona. If you are concerned about mosquitos in your area, you can contact Maricopa County Vector Control (https://www.maricopa.gov/2467/Mosquitoes-in-Your-Neighborhood) and they may be able to conduct mosquito control activities.
It is important for everyone to take steps to avoid mosquito bites by wearing EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and removing standing water where mosquitoes can breed. This will help keep these viruses from being introduced into our local mosquitoes.
One of my students asked whether Anopheles mosquitos are more attracted to people undergoing a hemolytic crisis (and therefore with free malaria parasites in their blood). Have you read anything addressing this?
Hello. Thank you for contacting Arizona Department of Health Services with your question. There are studies that suggest the presence of gametocytes increase a person’s attractive to some Anopheles sp. mosquitoes. This has been shown with Plasmodium falciparum in a semi-natural situation in addition to Plasmodium vivax in a laboratory setting. In the study involving P. falciparum, children carrying gametes attracted twice as many An. gambiae as uninfected children and children infected with the non-infective stage of the parasite.