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Published On: Wed, Jul 2nd, 2014

West Nile virus in the US hits double digits

The number of human West Nile virus cases has hit 11 in seven states across the United States so far in 2014. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in their West Nile update Tuesday, cases in Arizona (1), California (2), Mississippi (2), Missouri (1), South Dakota (1), and Tennessee (1) with the one fatality from Missouri. 

One case from San Joaquin County was an asymptomatic infection. However, not counted in the CDC data are cases from Stanislaus (1) and Tulare (1) counties in California and one case from Iowa.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

Of the eight WNV cases reported to the CDC via ArboNET, six were of the more serious, neuroinvasive variety.  For more infectious disease news and informationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

WNV infections in mosquitoes, birds, sentinel animals, or veterinary animals have been reported to CDC ArboNET from the following states: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

Nationally in 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 2,374 WNV cases and 114 deaths. This was a far cry from the 2012 outbreak that had a final total of  5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths.

WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes are WNV carriers that become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can thenspread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite. Rarely, WNV also has spread through transfusions, transplants, and mother-to-child.

Approximately 80 percent of people who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display mild symptoms, which appear 3-14 days after getting infected, and include fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms typically last a few days.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, andneurological effects may be permanent. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. Prevention is by avoiding mosquito bites and eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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