Mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus to humans are not yet emerging in large numbers, but sporadic rains predicted for next week could create the conditions those bugs prefer.
Rains earlier this year helped cut the West Nile-bearing mosquito population by washing out breeding areas favored by the only insect that carries the disease, said Greg Inman, director of the Boone County Health Department’s environmental division.
“With the rain comes the seven- to 10-day breeding cycle,” he said. “We’re still getting a lot of the mosquitoes that don’t transmit West Nile, but we’re also seeing the ones that do.”
Culex mosquitoes are the primary source of West Nile Virus, although the disease has been confirmed in other species. Culex mosquitoes breed more frequently when the weather is hot and dry.
“That’s when they thrive,” Inman said.
Through Friday, July 19, state health officials had confirmed 10 instances of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes, including one each in Clinton and Hamilton counties. Infected insects were also found in Grant, Adams, Allen, Jefferson, Starke, Vanderburgh and Vigo counties. No human infections were reported in Indiana.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.