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35 Cases, 2 Deaths From West Nile In Maricopa County This Year

The mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus is working its way through the Valley. Maricopa County has confirmed 35 cases, including two deaths, so far this year, an uptick from the same time a year ago.

Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine with the Maricopa County Public Health Department says this year’s count is probably an underestimate.

"We know that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg. A lot of people are getting infected and may not even know that they’re getting sick with West Nile, may not go to the doctor to get diagnosed, and some aren’t getting diagnosed properly," Sunenshine said.

Sunenshine says flu-like symptoms occur in 20 percent of the infected people. Officials recommend residents avoid the outdoors during dawn and dusk, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and use mosquito repellant with DEET.

They also should clear out stagnant water where mosquitoes breed from their property.

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Lillian Donahue Intern Lillian Donahue is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Before pursuing her bachelor’s degree, she worked in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, at The Higher Education Channel (HECTV) as an on-air talent and intern reporter. In Phoenix, Donahue has worked for many television stations, including KNOW 99, CW6, 3TV and CBS5. Donahue just returned from Hawaii, where she worked as a full-time Dow Jones News Fund digital reporting intern at Hawaii News Now for the summer. Donahue is bilingual and hopes to report internationally in both English and Spanish on issues that mean the most to Arizona’s diverse communities. Aside from journalism, Donahue enjoys playing the viola for the ASU Philharmonia orchestra.