High temperatures increase risk of mosquito bites and West Nile virus

From the Lake County News
July 28, 2022

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Mosquitoes are here, despite the drought, and the high temperatures are ideal for both mosquitoes and West Nile virus to thrive.

Although no Lake County mosquitoes have tested positive yet for West Nile virus, or WNV, in 2022, the warm nights mean that the virus will be detected here soon in mosquitoes, dead birds or sentinel chickens.

In California, the number of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus activity increased sharply in the last two weeks.

So far, six California residents have been diagnosed with mosquito-borne illnesses this year.

“Both mosquito and West Nile virus activity increase when the overnight temperatures are 60°F or warmer,” said Jamesina Scott, Ph.D., district manager and research director of the Lake County Vector Control District. “In a dry year like this, many people don’t think about mosquitoes or the diseases they carry, like West Nile or St. Louis encephalitis viruses. The best way to protect yourself is avoid mosquito bites.”

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