West Nile Virus on the Rise in US: CDC

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) — With 241 cases of West Nile
virus and four related deaths reported so far this year, the United States
is experiencing the biggest spike in the mosquito-borne illness since
2004, health officials report.

Eighty percent of these infections have occurred in three states —
Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma — which have seen earlier activity than
usual. Overall, 42 states had detected West Nile virus infections in
people, birds or mosquitoes as of July 31, the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

“It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years,”
Dr. Marc Fischer, medical epidemiologist with agency’s Arboviral Diseases
Branch, said in a CDC news release. “Regardless of the reasons for the
increase, people should be aware of the West Nile virus activity in their
area and take action to protect themselves and their family.”

Typically, the greatest risk for infection with West Nile virus occurs
from June through September, with cases peaking in mid-August. But changes
in the weather, the number of infected mosquitoes and human behavior can
all influence when and where outbreaks of the virus occur, the CDC

The best way to protect yourself from West Nile virus is to avoid
getting bitten by mosquitoes. CDC officials recommend the following
protective measures:

  • Use insect repellents when outside.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk.
  • Install or repair window and door screens.
  • Use air conditioning whenever possible.
  • Do not leave standing water outside in open containers, such as
    flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.

People infected with the West Nile virus can develop fever, headache,
body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. In more extreme
cases, the virus can lead to serious neurologic illness, such as
encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding
tissues), or death. People older than 50 and those with certain medical
conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and
organ transplants, are at greater risk for serious illness.

Although most people with mild cases of West Nile virus will recover on
their own, the CDC recommends that anyone who develops symptoms of the
illness should see their doctor right away.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on West Nile virus.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes