Warm weather ups West Nile risks - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Warm weather ups West Nile risks

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The weather might be beautiful outdoors, but, the insects that come with it might not be as nice -- especially, when they're carrying the West Nile virus.

Ian Kenning, who just moved to Minnesota from Seattle told FOX 9 News, "The two things I heard moving to Minnesota was 'mosquitoes will eat us alive' and 'snow will bury us alive.'"

Guess which one we're going to focus on? Minnesota's not-so-favorite, flying friend.

"The minute the sun starts to set, they are everywhere," said Kelly Ortiz. "It's one more thing you have to worry about."

Now more than ever, mosquito-borne illnesses on the rise -- and you can blame the weather for what could be a very active West Nile virus season.

"This real hot weather -- the virus does really well in the birds and does really well in mosquitoes," explained Jim Stark, with the Metro Mosquito District. "We've had hot dry weather for the last four weeks."

So far, officials have found 12 birds in the metro area that were infected with the virus, but statewide, there's only been one person infected so far this year. Still, Stark warns not to read too much into these early cases.

Stark says: "Sometimes, we have really perfect weather for the virus and we don't get anything --and then other years, we think were going to have a easy year and we end up getting a lot of cases."

Residents are encouraged to use repellent with DEET or stay inside when mosquitoes take over.

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