Contagious Disease Economics - General

Poor housing market increases incidence of West Nile

California has been one of the states that have been hardest hit by the “housing crisis.” According to the May 2008 Case/Shiller Index, home prices in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties have fallen 23% and 25% respectively over the past year. Foreclosures are rising and many houses are now left empty.

The Economist reports (“Meet the new neighbors“) that the housing crisis is spawning a rise in the West Nile virus in California. When homes with pools are left unattended, this creates a breeding ground for West Nile mosquitoes. Public health officials have reported that the West Nile virus has reached record levels in southern California.

Looks like the housing crisis may create a public health crisis as well.