WNV and heat conditions

Extreme warm conditions were found to be a crucially important factor that instigated the launching of WNV outbreaks. High temperatures have been shown to speed up the replication of WNV in mosquitoes; this rapid amplification directly affects the likelihood of the mosquito reaching maturity and subsequently infecting other hosts (Epstein, 2001). It has been proven experimentally that high temperatures help increase mosquito abundance, as well as increase vector competency (Turell et al., 2001; Dohm et al., 2002). High temperatures speed up the development of viruses within the mosquito carriers, which only live about 2 weeks (Epstein, 2001 and Pats et al., 2003). Experimental studies on WNV indicate that temperature profoundly influences mosquito-to-vertebrate transmission rates. Summer temperature was found to be one of the most important environmental variables modulating WNV activity in Europe (Savage et al., 1999).

In a study on the linkage between extreme heat and the WNF outbreak in Israel during summer 2000, Paz (2006) found that when the air temperatures do not fall below 25°C for 7 days, the minimum temperatures become the most important climatic factor that encourages the earlier appearance of the disease.

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