Officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA announced on 8/1/12 that there have been more reports of illness related to the West Nile virus so far this year since 2004. So far there have been more than 240 human cases, 4 of which resulted in deaths with Texas seeing the majority of reported cases. Most officials blame the very mild winter that most of the US saw combining with the hot summer were currently experiencing for creating the conditions for heavy mosquito breeding, which is how the virus is spread to humans.
Historically most reported infections happen in late summer to early fall, so its not clear how bad or how much worse this year will stack up against previous ones. Roger Nasci, CDC chief of insect-borne diseases stated that Unless the weather changes dramatically, well see more cases in 2012 than we have in the past couple years. So far 144 of the reported cases were severe enough for the virus to spread to the nervous system and cause more serious problems.
Doing what you can to avoid mosquitos that carry the virus like keeping clear of any standing water like buckets and pools is the first step to prevention. There are many all natural ways to make bug spray for your outdoor activities. Some good ingredients for making your own include essential oils of citronella, lemongrass, tea tree, mint, and eucalyptus. Combining some of these oils with natural witch hazel and distilled water is a safe alternative to chemical filled bug sprays you see in stores.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention