April Newsletter

Disease Prevention for Spring/Summer 2016

Summer in Northern Arizona brings people in contact with mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, bats, skunks, squirrels, and mice. While these animals are all important to the Northern Arizona ecosystem, they can occasionally carry disease. Therefore, the Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) recommend taking precautions to protect yourself and your family from illnesses transmitted by animals.

Protect Yourself from Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Bites
The best way to prevent bites from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes that can carry plague, tick-borne relapsing fever, West Nile virus, and Zika virus:
  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors.
  • Use mosquito repellent with active ingredients such as DEET.
Block the Sun
Northern Arizona sun is intense and can bring other risks that go beyond sunburn, including heat related illnesses.
  • Wear sunscreen in addition to clothes covering your arms, legs and a hat.
Stay Away from Rodents and Rodent Nests
Outdoor recreation, such as camping, can pose a risk for hantavirus exposure. A few precautions should be taken when camping, including:
  • Campers should not pitch tents or place sleeping bags in close proximity to rodent nests, burrows, or in areas of heavy rodent activity.
  • Before use, properly clean tents and other camping gear that have been stored where rodents may have had access.
  • If possible, do not sleep on the bare ground and zip tents closed to keep animals out.
Do Not Approach Wild Animals (Alive, Dead, or Wounded)
Rabies and plague can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with an infected animal. Reduce risk of exposure by following these guidelines:
  • Do not handle or feed any wild animals, this includes dead and wounded animals.
  • Prevent pets from roaming loose. Pets can pick up the infected fleas of wild animals, and then pass fleas on to their human owners. De-flea pets routinely and consult with your veterinarian.
See Your Healthcare Provider if Ill
  • In case of illness see your provider immediately and let him/her know your travel history. Some diseases have less serious effects if treated early.
For more information visit our Health page or call the Coconino County Public Health Services District at (928) 679-7272.