Mosquito bite, credit Wikipedia.
Summer may be over, but a mosquito explosion in New York City is expected to last well into the fall -- and experts are pointing the finger at climate change. This summer had some of the highest levels of mosquitoes with a record-breaking 1,000+ West Nile virus cases across all five boroughs, according to the city Department of Health.
Some ecologists believe the spike in mosquitoes is due to more flooding, tropical systems, and hot weather, all of which are linked to climate change. Senator Charles Schumer wants a 61% increase in CDC funding that covers West Nile prevention, and he also wants the EPA to help provide better ways to kill mosquitoes without chemicals."Ask any outdoor diner about the mosquitos this summer, and you'll feel a resounding itch," she said.
"This is actually one of the worst mosquito seasons in recent memory, with a record number of the bugs plaguing communities across New York from the city to Buffalo and all throughout New York state."According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Onondaga County has experienced 25 times more mosquitoes this year than last.
This year, Onondaga County tallied 12,543 mosquitoes in the second week of September, compared to 488 during the same time last year. The virus is spread by the bite of a mosquito infected with the West Nile virus. It is not spread from person to person, and many people infected do not become ill and may not develop symptoms.
About 20% of infected people will develop West Nile fever. When symptoms occur, they may be mild or severe. Mild symptoms include a flu-like illness with fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back, while severe symptoms include high fever, neck stiffness, and swelling of the brain (encephalitis) which can lead to coma, convulsions, and death. Less than 1% of infected people will develop severe symptoms. People over the age of 50 and people with weak immune systems are at greater risk of developing severe illness.