While you may be enjoying the nice summer-like weather we've been having, it might come with a little extra sting. That's because those mosquitoes are already starting to come out for the season, and the West Nile virus won't be far behind.
In 2003, the Center for Disease Control reported 9,800 cases of West Nile in humans, more than double from 2002. This year, they expect another bad year.
Mosquito control products are already hitting the shelves, and some say now is the time to start defending your house and lawn before it gets too late.
Some of the things on the market this year: Mosquito zappers (like bug zappers), foggers, lawn sprays, and treatments that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Mosquito dunks promise to kill the larvae in pools of water to prevent large infestations.
And don't forget the first line of defense - yourself! When outdoors or in mosquito prone areas this summer, use a repellant that contains DEET. Make sure to read all directions though, and get a repellant that's safe to you on your children as well.
The Center for Disease Control reports that so far in 2004, only one case of West Nile has been reported in a human, and that case was in Ohio.
One Equine veterinarian we spoke with says he does not expect this will be a bad year for West Nile in horses though. He says the vaccines help, and horses are starting to build up immunity as well.