CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Confirmed cases of the West Nile virus throughout the state have jumped in one month.
In mid August, WDEF first reported Tennessee only had one confirmed case of the West Nile virus. Back then, the state was experiencing weeks of continuous rain that stretched back into July. With that much rainfall, there was a good chance there would be lots of standing water in open containers. Wet open containers are breeding grounds for the West Nile virus carrying mosquito.
At the time, that one confirmed case was significantly lower than the 33 cases last year and the 18 cases the year before.
Now the number of confirmed infections in humans has risen to 12.
Mosquito expert Brad Ledford said despite drier weather conditions this month, there are other factors allowing disease carrying mosquitoes to breed and bite.
"We're irrigating our lawns and and those can be filling up those containers. The mosquitoes we need to worry about is those container mosquitoes because those are the ones carrying the disease," Ledford said.
The neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama have a combined total of seven confirmed West Nile cases.