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The end of California's drought could mean fewer cases of West Nile virus

https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-west-nile-virus-rain-drought-20190415-story.html
See More From: latimes.com

Apr 15, 2019 3:08 AM 5+ day ago

The end of Californias drought could mean fewer cases of West Nile virus

Researchers say the end of California's drought could offer a surprising benefit: reduced transmission of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

Drought is the most important weather-related factor that affects the rate of West Nile infection, scientists say. Mosquito eggs need water to hatch, but dry conditions tend to spur greater transmission of the virus.

"Ironically, when we have drought conditions, that does seem to amplify the West Nile virus transmission cycle," said Vicki Kramer, chief of the Vector-Borne Disease Section at the California Department of Public Health.

West Nile is transmitted between mosquitoes and birds. People can become infected if bitten by an infected mosquito. (The illness is rarely transmitted from one person to another.)

It's not clear why drought makes it easier for the virus to spread. One possibility is that drought forces mosquitoes and birds into closer proximity ...

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