Recent outbreaks have been reported in various spots in the United States, and those that have seen heavy rains are particularly vulnerable.
If you’ve been reading about the problems in California and you’re anywhere else in the United States, you’re likely grateful for the heavy rains that have been pounding much of the country lately — but during the summer months, they do bring an unwelcome visitor.
Outbreaks of West Nile Virus due to disease-carrying mosquitoes have been popping up around the country, prompting warnings from health officials and recommendations that one take extra precautions to keep from being bitten by the flying insects, according to a KDVR report.
The reason why heavy rains during the mosquito-heavy summer months are such a concern is that they lead to standing water, and standing water in hot, humid locations is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes’ larvae.
Batches of West Nile have been confirmed in numerous counties in many states ranging from the west to the east coasts. WNV has been a problem ever since it was first introduced to the United States with the first case in New York in 1999. Ever since then, it’s been practically an annual health event to keep an eye out for occurrences of West Nile Virus. The disease originated in Uganda in 1937 and wasn’t seen in Western countries until outbreaks in the mid 1990s. It’s not a terribly dangerous disease, and only sickens 20 percent of people that get it, with an even rarer incidence of death. But it is something to watch out for.
If you see even small areas of standing water, mosquitoes could be breeding their disease-carrying children right there. That includes planters, kiddie pools, and gutters. In fact, 10,000 mosquitoes could breed in just a couple cups of standing water.
So, health officials warn, be sure to get rid of that standing water right away in order to ensure a safe and healthy summer.