The West Nile virus has made its first appearance of the year in Scottsdale.
Maricopa County health officials detected the virus Aug. 31 in mosquitoes trapped in the 9800 block of North 85th Street, said Kellie Andes of the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.
The mosquito trap was set in response to neighbors’ complaints.
“We would like to encourage residents to be vigilant, wear their insect repellent and get rid of standing water,” Andes said.
On the same day, another trap in the 5900 block of Aire Libre Lane in northeast Phoenix tested positive for the virus as well.
So far this year, there have been 34 positive tests countywide, but this is the first in Scottsdale.
The county fogged a square mile around the test site with mosquito insecticide soon after the mosquitoes turned up positive for the virus. The fogging extended from Shea Boulevard to Via Linda and Hayden Road to Loop 101.
That’s standard procedure, Andes said.
“When we do have a positive West Nile mosquito, we will fog with a one-mile radius of the area,” she said.
Mosquitoes are predominant from April to November, she said.
“It’s warmer and there’s monsoon rains right now,” Andes said.
Maricopa County has budgeted more than $3 million in fiscal year 2006-07 to control mosquitoes, mainly to combat West Nile and because mosquitoes are a nuisance, she said.
And, since the virus kills 25 percent of the horses it infects, the bill can add up for those who have to vaccinate their animals each year.
Ashley Alward, a veterinarian with the Southwest Equine Medical and Surgical Center, said her clinic vaccinates at least 600 to 800 horses once or twice a year at a cost of $25 to $35 a head.
“That’s just us, as a clinic here. There are multiple other clinics in the Valley,” Alward said.
The vaccine, which came out four or five years ago, has reduced the frequency and severity of cases in horses since, she said.