The West Nile virus is spreading faster than it has in previous years.
The number of cases is nearing 700 nationwide, with nearly 30 deaths reported.
Locally, however, it hasn't been spreading at a faster rate than normal, according to the Johnson County and Kansas City Health Departments.
There have been four cases reported in Kansas this year. Three were reported in Missouri -- one of which was fatal.
Climate experts say the mild winter and rainy spring became the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, who get the virus from birds.
And although mosquitoes thrive on standing water, the drought has added to the problem.
"With fewer water sources, mosquitoes and birds find themselves closer together," said Vanderbilt Dr. William Schaffner.
So that means it's been easier for mosquitoes to get infected, then transmit the virus to people.
Experts recommend using inspect repellent outdoors, draining areas of standing water, like in bird baths, and wearing long sleeves and pants when outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Two fitness instructors at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Shawnee, Kan., believe fitness is the key to a healthy and happy life.