Drought restrictions had side benefit: Lowering risk of mosquito-borne disease

Shallow pools of water on lawns are ideal breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus, the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States.A new study by scientists from UCLA and three other universities found that reducing shallow pools of water where the insects lay their eggs is key to preventing the spread of the virus.The study, funded by a grant from the UC Office of the President and published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that California ’s water-use restrictions during the statewide drought from 2012 to 2016 led to a decrease in the number of mosquitoes that carry the virus.The researchers focused on Orange and Los Angeles counties, where 13.3 million of the state ’s 39.5 million residents live. They determined that without those water-use restrictions, the number of mosquitoes would have been 44% higher in Los Angeles County and 39% higher in Orange County.Dennis Lettenmaier, a UCLA professor of geography and the study ’s senior author, said the research demonstrates an added benefit — beyond water conservation — of cutting back on outdoor water use.“We are going to have a warmer climate, and the demand for water for outdoor irrigation in particular will go up,” Lettenmaier said. “Efforts to reduce urban water use have a secondary benefit: They reduce the abundance of the mosquitoes that are responsible for West Nile virus.”The study ’s other author...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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Abstract Sporadic human Zika virus (ZIKV) infections have been recorded in Africa and Asia since the 1950s. Major epidemics occurred only after ZIKV emerged in the Pacific islands and spread to the Americas. Specific biological determinants of the explosive epidemic nature of ZIKV have not been identified. Phylogenetic studies revealed incongruence in ZIKV placement in relation to Aedes-borne dengue viruses (DENV) and Culex-borne flaviviruses. We hypothesized that this incongruence reflects interspecies recombination resulting in ZIKV evasion of cross-protective T-cell immunity. We investigated ZIKV phylogenetic i...
Source: Antiviral Research - Category: Virology Authors: Tags: Antiviral Res Source Type: research
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