Foreclosures Linked to West Nile Virus?by Tim Manni
The latest notch on the belt of the housing crisis is…West Nile Virus? According to recent reports, the apparent cause of a surge in West Nile Virus cases in Southern California is the vast number of foreclosed homes with stagnant swimming pools, a classic breeding ground for the insects. There’s no doubt when borrowers walked away from their foreclosed properties, paying to get the pool drained wasn’t a top priority. The main cause for concern among health officials is the more serious strain of the virus that is infecting more victims than ever before.
This year, 70% of the victims have contracted the more serious neurological form of the disease, West Nile neuroinvasive disease, Cummings said. That’s a higher number than in past years, but officials do not know why that is. It’s an additional cause for concern, officials said.
Southern California has had an increase in the number of infected dead birds and mosquitoes this year. So far, 566 dead birds and 316 mosquito samples have been confirmed positive for the virus in the area.
Mosquitoes have found new breeding grounds in the thousands of abandoned swimming pools in foreclosed homes throughout Southern California, Cummings said, accounting for much of the increase in the virus. Another reason could be that birds that carry the disease are becoming less immune to West Nile because of low virus activity in recent years, he said.
For questions regarding West Nile Virus contact the CDC.