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Record number of West Nile cases in Maricopa County in 2021

Posted at 5:09 PM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-30 11:06:00-04

PHOENIX — Maricopa County is now reporting 704 West Nile cases in humans, exceeding the record set in 2004 which was 355 cases.

The county is also reporting 54 deaths from the virus in 2021.

"Right now, health-wise, I still can't really drive or go to yoga school, go to work and it's not great but I'm hanging in there," said Diana Scorza, a Valley DJ.

Scorza also goes by the name Nina D on the radio.

She told ABC15 that she was surprised when she was diagnosed with the virus a couple of months ago. Since then, she's had symptoms like fatigue and brain fog.

"That was probably the scariest at the height of the symptoms," she said.

"And then the fever because I thought I had COVID so that was scary too," Scorza added.

According to the CDC, most people with West Nile won't get any symptoms. However, there are no vaccines so doctors can only treat the symptoms.

Scorza said she was using pain meds to begin with but will be switching to more natural remedies in the near future.

According to Scorza, she was bit by a mosquito when relaxing outside. Eventually, she was diagnosed by a health provider during a telemedicine visit.

"I did what people do when you go onto the internet and plugged in random diseases and I was thinking random things, anything but West Nile Virus," she said.

Meanwhile, officials with the county's environmental services department are trying to keep other people from getting bit.

The county says they're using traps and monitoring mosquito breeding areas.

"So we have identified thousands of areas in terms of mosquito breeding," said Johnny Diloné, a spokesperson with the Maricopa Environmental Services Department.

"And we go there to surveil the area and see if we see any mosquitoes breeding, a source that needs to get treated," he added.

For more information about the county's efforts or to report problems with mosquitoes, visit FightTheBiteMaricopa.org