PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Recently, Phoenix was ranked 11th as the worst cities for mosquitoes for 2019. Now, county experts are saying there are not only more mosquitoes, but more of them are infected with the West Nile Virus.
Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department is seeing a spike in the mosquito population for 2019 when compared to the same time in 2018, mostly in the West Valley. In 2018, a reported seven mosquito samples had tested positive for West Nile, and so far in 2019, the number has jumped to 68.
So far, officials said only one person has reportedly been infected, but the Valley is still early in the season.
"The virus is carried by birds, so if we have a lot of birds out there, which seems to be the case, that could increase not only the number of mosquitoes but virus," said Johnny Diloné, with the Maricopa County Environmental Services.
Meanwhile, the cooler weather isn't expected to last. Starting in June, temperatures are expected to climb back up, but that doesn't mean the Valley is completely in the clear.
"With all the storms, we get accumulation of water, so it all depends on how the weather behaves from now on," said Diloné.
Experts say about 20% of people will feel flu-like symptoms within three to 15 days after an infected mosquito bite. A smaller percentage could suffer more severe symptoms, even death. They advise folks to stay diligent about not leaving stagnant water outside their homes and to wear repellents. If people spot a mosquito problem in their neighborhood or park, they can call their county's Environment Services Department, so crews can monitor the area and possibly set up a mosquito trap.