“West Nile virus spreads faster,” reads the USA Today headline on a story that doesn’t actually say anything about rate of spread, just that the virus is spreading, as one would expect for a pathogen that was first seen in North America only thirteen years ago:
It’s going to get worse, says David Dausey, a professor of public health at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa.
But no, this professional epidemiologist is not talking about the typical pattern of advance for a virulent new disease. Dausey is talking about a much smaller and vastly less certain factor:
He says climate change means warmer winters, milder springs and hotter summers, all of which “create a longer season for mosquitoes to breed and ideal conditions for them to survive.” That will mean more West Nile and, public health workers worry, other mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, malaria and dengue fever, Dausey says.
So the fast spread of West Nile (or “faster” if you prefer) is not because this dangerous disease was only recently introduced (a fact not mentioned in the article), but because of global warming, even though neither the globe, nor the contiguous United States, have warmed since West Nile first appeared here, thirteen years ago, in 1999:
Then there’s this inconvenient report from last December:
Transmission of infectious parasites slows with rising temperatures, researchers find.
… The study was done with rodent malaria, but the researchers, at PennsylvaniaStateUniversity in University Park, expect the pattern to apply to human malaria and possibly to other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and West Nile virus.
Dausey is also from Pennsylvania. Maybe he ought to get out a little, or talk to someone besides the warming alarmists who control all the grant money. No credit to USA Today‘s Elizabeth Weise either. It’s not like its actually a mystery why West Nile is spreading, but our politicized media doesn’t want readers to know the truth. They only care about manipulating people for perceived partisan advantage.