Ominous Start for West Nile Season
West Nile Virus 2007: Fastest Start Yet for Mosquito-Borne Illness
Whether this year will be as bad as that depends largely on the weather.
Birds carry West Nile virus, and mosquitoes get the bug after feeding on birds.
The virus then has to grow inside the mosquito to levels infectious to humans.
This happens most efficiently in hot weather.
If August and September are relatively cool, the bug might not be a big
problem. But that's just speculation. The U.S. history of West Nile virus is
too short for scientists to make accurate predictions.
One prediction can be made for sure: You will have a much lower risk of West
Nile infection if you avoid
"From the early numbers, it looks like we have a pretty busy West Nile
season going," Zielinski-Gutierrez says. "Get out that repellent. The
take-home message at this point for the American public is, 'Whoa -- there
seems to be a lot of West Nile out there. When I go out there I'd better do
something to keep from getting mosquito bites.'"