Will West Nile Virus Be A Threat? - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Will West Nile Virus be a threat?

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The Cuyahoga County Board of Health confirms that there has been what they call an explosion of mosquitos in the county.  That is not surprising considering Northeast Ohio just endured sixteen straight days of rain providing a breeding ground for the blood suckers.

The county has just started their program to trap and test mosquitos for the West Nile virus, but already, in Columbus, there has been a confirmation of the virus from a mosquito pool.

Numbers show a troubling increase in the number of cases of West Nile, the Centers for Disease Control reports five cases of West Nile and no deaths in Ohio in 2010, but last year there were one hundred and twenty one cases and seven deaths in the state last year. 

"Global warming, climate change may be having an impact because the warmer weather means there are more mosquitos in the following year," said Cleveland Clinic Dr. Susan Rehm.

Dr. Rehm cited a study done in Dallas, Texas that shows a direct correlation to warmer winters and an increase in mosquitos infected with the West Nile virus. 

Regardless of the reason, it's clear it will be a mosquito filled summer here and you need to protect yourself.  Dr. Rehm says, "Wear long sleeves, long pants, if you're going to be outside for an extended period of time and use mosquito repellant and get rid of standing water in your area."

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