10 Aug '12, 2pm

West Nile virus outbreak causes Dallas to declare emergency

West Nile virus outbreak causes Dallas to declare emergency

Texas’ county of Dallas (home to the city of the same name) yesterday declared a state of emergency because of the West Nile virus. Nine people have died of the virus [PDF] so far this year. Having grown up in the Snow Belt, I recognize that my attitude toward winter is more hospitable than most. But regardless of your hostility to the season, there is an unquestionable benefit to cold weather: mosquitoes vanish. They don’t all die , unfortunately, but those that live are in hibernation, nestled into nooks in the slightly warmer earth. Which is why climate change means that we’ll see more mosquite-borne diseases . With warmer winters (like the one the Northeast just saw), mosquitoes will remain more active, longer. And warmth also improves transmission : A disgusting, repulsive insect. (Photo by Alvesgaspar .) “The [West Nile] pathogen — the warmer the temperature, the fas...

Full article: http://grist.org/news/dallas-texas-declares-state-of-emer...

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