Mosquito increase could bring risk of West NileOutdoors
- An increase in the amount of mosquitos could increase risk of West Nile virus
With all the rain in the forecast this week, it will be interesting to see if mosquitoes start to make their presence known in Wisconsin.
Once they do, it could put animals and humans at risk again for the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. The US Centers for Disease Control say there’s only been one serious human illness from the virus nationally – and both Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota have not reported any cases yet. Dave Nietzel of Minnesota’s health department says the risk increases with the warmer weather, and the peak season for West Nile cases is July through September.
In the past, Wisconsin health officials have said that three-fourths of all West Nile cases happen in August and September. Seven Wisconsinites died from West Nile from 2002-through-06 – but last year, there was only one human case and that person survived. West Nile also kills horses and birds.
State health officials have set up a hot-line to report dead birds infected by West Nile. They say it’s important to keep track, since birds are often an early predictor of how West Nile might affect humans. Here’s the number for the dead bird hotline – 1-800-433-1610.