Flooding could cause mosquito-comeback

Photo: Erik F. Brandsborg / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MGN
Photo: Erik F. Brandsborg / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MGN(WCTV)
Published: Sep. 5, 2018 at 7:42 PM CDT
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Flooding across Wisconsin is creating another cause for concern, mosquitoes.

Overall, it's been a pretty dry summer in northeast Wisconsin, but all this recent rain is changing that.

“If they lay their eggs in water, little fish will just come and eat the eggs so they have to have water that falls, like, in a puddle and there's no fish there to eat the eggs,” said Michael Draney, professor of biology at UW-Green Bay.

A dry period in July and August thinned out the mosquito population this summer, but these recent rains could bring a soggy resurgence.

“There's certain species that might be able to become abundant again now that we've got a lot of rain, but it's so late that I don't expect there's going to be time,” said Draney.

“Last year, in August and September were peak months for mosquito-borne illnesses in the state of Wisconsin,” said Karissa Singleton, infection preventionist at Bellin Health.

There has been one confirmed case of a person contracting West Nile virus in Wisconsin this year; last year there were 51 cases.

Symptoms include high fever, headache, and severe aches.

“There isn't actually a treatment to the virus itself, there's no medicine to take, people who have severe cases, the treatment is just to support the symptoms that the virus causes,” said Singleton.

Health experts are encouraging people to take precautions when it comes to preventing mosquito bites, for example, don't be outside during peak mosquito activity and put on bug repellent.