Warming climate may bring more West Nile outbreaks to Southern California

From Berkeley News
August 5, 2020

As climate change heats up the weather in Southern California, coastal populations from San Diego to Santa Barbara may face an increased risk of contracting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, suggests a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

West Nile virus is America’s deadliest mosquito-borne disease and has been a threat to the Los Angeles metropolitan area since it arrived in 2003. The virus is harbored by mosquitos and birds and is most commonly spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The study team analyzed data on nearly 2 million mosquitoes that had been captured and tested for West Nile in Los Angeles between 2006 and 2016. They then used machine learning to identify the landscape and climate conditions that influenced mosquito infection in different neighborhoods.

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