Colder spring could help fight West Nile

June 3, 2008 9:53:58 AM PDT
Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus usually arrive later in the summer.But, the weather we've had this spring could be good news in the fight against the virus.

While most of us are less than thrilled with the cool weather this spring, if the pattern continues, it could mean a reduction in the number of cases of West Nile virus.

Over the past four years, the summer of 2004 was the coolest and had by far the lowest number of West Nile cases. Last year, we saw a significant decrease in those infected compared to 2005 and 2006 even though temperatures were well above normal. The reason for the downturn was related to some late summer rainfall.

Though the weather has warmed significantly the past few days, the long range outlook for this summer calls for equal chances of below or above normal temps. However, a large part of the central part of the country is expecting temperatures below normal.

The recent heavy rains are not favorable for the Culex mosquito, which carries the virus; however, a few mosquitoes have already tested positive for West Nile.

You can also reduce mosquitoes that carry West Nile by getting rid of stagnant water in birdbaths and other places where water collects.


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