CBS’s ‘Early Show’ Links Foreclosures to West Nile Virus

How do you make the foreclosure crisis seem even scarier? Add in a potentially deadly virus.

CBS's "The Early Show," reported August 7 that a new stronger strain of the West Nile virus could spread across the country with help from the neglected pools found in foreclosed homes in California.

"Apparently ... as more and more homes are passing into foreclosure and there are many, and many of those homes have backdoor pools, these are being neglected," Dr. Alton Baron of Roosevelt Hospital Center told co-host Maggie Rodriguez. "They're not being maintained and this can become a ripe feeding ground and breeding ground for these mosquito populations."

Baron added that the new strain of the virus "invades the brain and spinal cord" and listed other horrific symptoms including nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, rashes, disorientation, severe muscle weakness, fatigue or even paralysis.

Mosquitoes, which breed in stagnant water, pass on West Nile to animals and humans when they feed off fowl that have the virus in their blood.

Foreclosures in the state of California may have hit a record high, but there are signs of a change-signs "The Early Show" ignored.

The Los Angeles Times reported July 23 that defaults, which rose by 39 percent in the first quarter, rose by only 6.6 percent in the second quarter, according to figures provided by DataQuick Information Systems. DataQuick President John Walsh said the lower increase could suggest the crisis is "nearing a plateau."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Aug. 5 there were 114 cases of West Nile in humans this year. Of those 114, two were fatal. The CDC also said that every year in the United States, about 36,000 people die from seasonal flu.