The nonprofit news organization Climate Central is warning that the number of mosquito “disease danger days” — when people are at greater risk of getting bitten and sick — is increasing across much of the U.S.
That includes Fresno, which was ninth of the top 10 cities that saw the biggest increases. Of the 244 cities analyzed, 94 percent saw an increase in the number of “dangerous days” since 1970. Fresno had 27 more of these dangerous days, according to the report.
Reno, Nev. topped the list with 52 more days.
The report ties the increases to climate change. The findings are based on daily temperatures, which affects the rate of disease transmission. Anywhere from 61 degrees to 93 degrees is considered the range for disease transmission for Aedes and Culex mosquitoes — the ones that carry West Nile, dengue fever, Zika, chikungunya, Yellow Fever and St. Louis Encephalitis.
This is all important because in July mosquitoes in Fresno tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis. That same month, the first positive case of West Nile was confirmed in Fresno County by health officials.
As always, the CDC urges people protect themselves from mosquito bites.