By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

As reported earlier (HERE), (HERE), Arizona is reporting a record year in human West Nile virus cases in 2021, fueled largely by the massive number of cases in the most populous county of Maricopa.

According to the Maricopa County Health Department as of Nov. 11, the county has reported 941 cases year to date, including 70 fatalities.

This tops the record previously set in 2004 of 355 cases.

In 2020, the county only reported three human cases and one death.

It takes 2-6 days for a person to develop symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito infected with WNV.

Only 1 out of 5 people with WNV will have symptoms. Individuals may develop a fever with other symptoms, such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people who experience these symptoms will recover completely, although fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

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Severe illness can occur in people at any age; however, people over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe illness. Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants are also at greater risk for serious illness. In more severe cases, the illness can affect the brain causing encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or meningitis (swelling of the surrounding brain tissues). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. Recovery from severe illness may take several weeks or months and some of the neurologic problems may be permanent. Rarely, death can occur.