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Cool conditions stifling West Nile

Published: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

CHAMPAIGN (AP) – Experts say what has so far been a cool, wet summer is probably limiting West Nile virus in Illinois.

Melaney Arnold is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She told The News-Gazette in Champaign that, a year ago, 4 percent of the mosquitoes trapped in counties around the state carried West Nile. At this point in 2012, that figure was 14 percent. This year, it’s just 1 percent.

University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Phil Nixon says there are plenty of mosquitoes around. But most aren’t the Culex mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

But a run of hot, dry weather that favors Culex could increase their numbers.

Jeff Blackford of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said the drought of 2012 led to high populations.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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