Arizona monsoon weather may breed insect-borne diseases

PHOENIX - Arizona wildlife officials are warning that upcoming monsoon rains, besides bringing needed moisture, may also bring insect-borne diseases.

The Arizona Department of Game and Fish says infected insects can lead to illness for people, pets, and wildlife.

Their advisory comes in the wake of a deceased prairie dog testing positive for plague in Coconino County earlier this month. Also, in Maricopa County, officials found the presence of West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses in mosquito pools.

Summer monsoon season can also foster tularemia, an infection transmitted person to person.

Game and Fish wildlife veterinarian Anne Justice-Allen says people should take precautions when outdoors, especially in the early morning or evening.

These include wearing long pants, long sleeves and using mosquito repellent.

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