Wet Weather A Mosquito Paradise
In this photo released by Sergey Dolya, captain pilot Alexander Yablontsev, left and first officer Alexander Kotchetkov pose with unidentified cabin crew next to their Sukhoi Superjet-100 prior to a demonstration flight at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. The Russian-made jet plane with 50 people on board, including eight Russians and an American, has gone missing during a second demonstration flight of the day near Jakarta, Indonesian government officials said Wednesday.(AP Photo/Sergey Dolya) NO SALES (Sergey Dolya)
"We start our work day at seven and I was here to eight last night, and I had to go home," says Evans.
The influx of mosquitos following the spate of wet day has increased fears of exposure to West Nile virus, an illness carried and transmitted by mosquitos.
The virus first appeared in the Northeast four years ago, killing four people. By last year West Nile had spread to 40 states, killing 284. The rain, followed by a week of hot temperatures, has created ideal breeding conditions for the pesky, needle-nosed mosquitos, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod.
"It does create new challenges and particularly the challenge with West Nile virus and mosquito control," says Brad Campbell, of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency.
And another dangerous mosquito-transported disease has intensified this past, wet spring, and it's not only threatening to humans.
A pathogen called eastern equine encephalitis is popping up on scientists' radar screens, and as the name suggests, it targets both man and horse.
"Eastern encephalitis and West Nile virus would be the two biggest threats to the horse population in New Jersey after all this rain," says veterinarian Wendy Vaala.
They're also worried near Charleston, South Carolina, where eastern equine encephalitis has already claimed five horses, and in Brunswick, Georgia, where a 78-year-old man died.
"It's better to be a horse, because we have vaccines for both eastern encephalitis and West Nile," says Vaala. "We don't have vaccines for people of either of those diseases."
It's that missing vaccine that makes the work of these people all the more important.
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