West Nile Virus News
September 14, 2012 -- Federal health officials advise people to continue to take preventive measures against mosquito bites to avoid West Nile virus infection. As of Sept. 11, a total of 2,636 cases, including 118 deaths, had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those numbers were an overall increase of about 35 percent over statistics from the week before. Of the total number of cases, 53 percent were classified as neuroinvasive disease, such as meningitis or encephalitis.
The CDC expects that West Nile virus cases have peaked for the year but stresses the need for people to use insect repellents while spending time outdoors.The CDC and FEMA have been working together in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac and associated flooding to make sure mosquito control needs are being met in Louisiana and Mississippi, as dramatic increases in mosquito populations are expected.
September 6, 2012 -- West Nile virus infections continue to increase at an unprecedented rate this summer, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting a total of 1,993 cases, including 87 deaths. The latest infection numbers represent a 25 percent increase in West Nile virus cases over the previous week, according to the CDC. More than half of the cases reported so far have been classified as neuroinvasive disease, such as meningitis or encephalitis. Forty-five percent of the reported infections have occurred in Texas.
The West Nile virus season generally starts in August and ends in September. The season has already been the biggest one on record since the virus was first detected in the United States in 1999.
August 29, 2012 -- Already this summer, West Nile virus has caused more serious illness than any year since 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials across the country are reporting more than 1,100 infections and 42 deaths so far this season, and the West Nile season is expected to last into fall.
West Nile virus is transmitted through bites from infected mosquitoes. Although only one in five people who contract the virus develop symptoms such as fever headache, body aches or vomiting, the virus can cause serious neurological illnesses that can be fatal, such as encephalitis or meningitis. People typically develop symptoms of West Nile virus three to 14 days after being bitten.
Using personal insect repellents is the single most effective way to reduce risk of West Nile infection. Although using any repellent is most important, choosing the right active ingredient for your individual needs can make repelling bugs a painless process. Consider the length of time you’ll be outside and the type of activity you’re planning. There are a variety of insect repellents available, ranging from the familiar DEET to newer ingredients like picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
The links below have more infomation:
CDC West Nile cases by state
CDC Press Release - West Nile virus disease cases up this year
CDC - Updated information regarding insect repellent
CDC - West Nile virus home page