Drought, heat, and West Nile outbreaks seem to go together-

You would think mosquito borne West Nile virus and floods from wet, wet summers go together.  This is not so.  Early on it was recognized that West Nile peaks in the dryest, hottest time of the year — August. Not only that, it is worse in drought years such as this record breaking year.

Those who spend time outdoors often breathe a tiny sigh of relief when the dense mosquitoes of late June and July give way to the biting flies and wasps of August and September.  Still, there are mosquitoes in the hot summer and heading toward autumn, and each one can be more than proportionately dangerous for West Nile Virus.

So far there are over 240 cases reported and 4 dead.  This beats the year 2004 by about 100 cases already. The South,  the Plains states. and California (lots of people there) are the places with the most cases. Check out the Center for Disease Control homepage for West Nile.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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