West Nile virus cases in Arizona stay low - East Valley Tribune: Health

West Nile virus cases in Arizona stay low

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Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012 11:45 am

Fewer than 30 West Nile virus cases have been reported in Arizona as of last week, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Though there has been a spike in the number of West Nile virus cases nationwide, only 25 cases are in Arizona. The state’s weekly report — released Thursday — shows 22 of them in Maricopa County.

There has been one fatality this year, an elderly man from the East Valley who had an underlying medical condition.

West Nile virus is a disease that is transferred from sick birds to mosquitoes to humans through a bite. Though in most cases, people infected do not feel it, the disease can cause a person to experience flu-like symptoms. In an extremely small number of cases, the disease can lead to encephalitis and meningitis, and may be fatal.

Valley residents are reminded to remove standing water from around their homes to eliminate places for mosquitoes to breed. It’s also recommended to avoid being outdoors from sunset to sunrise, when mosquitoes feed, or to wear mosquito repellent.

GILBERT

Challenger Basic charter named national ‘blue ribbon’ school

Gilbert’s Challenger Basic School, a public charter school, was named a National Blue Ribbon School last week by the U.S. Department of Education. Only three schools in Arizona received the honor this year.

The K-6 school, 1315 N. Greenfield Road, also received an “A” from the Arizona Department of Education.

Challenger was recognized as an “exemplary” performing school, one of the best academically in the state. A ceremony will be held Nov. 12-13 in Washington, D.C., to honor the 219 public and 50 private schools recognized this year.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release, “Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future.”

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