By LAUREN GENTILE
CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE
LANSING — Although temperatures are beginning to drop as summer winds down, the risk for insect-borne illness is still on the rise in northern Michigan. The highest risk for contracting an insect-borne illness like West Nile or Eastern equine encephalitis occurs between August and early October, according to the Department of Community Health. “We don’t see a rise in cases of West Nile until mid-August and this year is up from last year a lot,” said Angela Minicuci, public information officer for Community Health. West Nile is spread by a mosquito species that easily reproduces in a warm, dry climate. With the little rainfall Michigan has had over the summer, the population of these mosquitoes has risen, said Minicuci.