Wanna get West Nile virus? Climate change will help
Contracting the West Nile virus is too damn hard. You have to go somewhere hot like Texas and practically BEG an infected mosquito to suck on you. Save your airline miles, friends, because climate change will raise temperatures so residents of California and even southern Canada will have a better shot at the virus.
Time reports that a warming world will see higher rates of West Nile, because the virus is tied to higher temperatures and lower precipitation. A new study in Global Change Biology projects just where the virus will spread:
The UCLA model indicates that higher temperatures and lower precipitation will generally lead to more cases of West Nile, as well as the spread of the virus to northern territories that haven’t yet been affected by it. In California alone, for example, more than half of the state will see an increased probability of West Nile in the decades to come, and by 2080 the virus may well be prevalent in parts of southern Canada, and as far north as northern British Columbia.
To prevent widespread panic, Time names a couple of preventative measures: eliminating stagnant puddles where mosquitos like to breed, and spraying pesticides. GREAT. More pesticides, just what we all needed. (In addition to West Nile, of course.) Who said you can’t always get what you want?
Thanks to Climate Change, West Nile Virus Could Be Your New Neighbor, Time.