Mosquitoes by floods likely not disease-carrying

Thursday, June 19, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Midwesterners watching flooding rivers can expect mosquito bombardments. But a health department vet says the insects probably won't bring disease with them.

Missouri public health veterinarian Howard Pue says the mosquito species most likely to breed in the floodwaters are "nuisance" species that leave welts and itchy bites. But he says they cannot spread potentially deadly West Nile Virus or St. Louis encephalitis.

Pue says that in a couple weeks, the eggs laid by northeast Missouri's mosquitoes will begin to hatch. And that's just in time to greet people cleaning up after the flooding.

According to the Missouri Health Surveillance Information System, there were 444 reported cases of West Nile Virus and 30 deaths in Missouri from 2002 to 2007.

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