West Nile Virus Outbreak Becomes Second-Worst Ever in United States

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There’s no doubt that it has been a bad year for pests across the country. But, the mild winter and extremely hot summer have lead to more than just a bug bonanza. From the recent cases of Hantavirus infections in Yosemite to a young Colorado girl contracting the Plague, there has been a convergence of unusual viruses in 2012. However, the West Nile virus outbreak in the United States has undoubtedly topped the list.

As of October 23, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A total of 4,725 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 219 deaths, have been reported.

These new statistics make 2012 the second-worst year on record for West Nile virus in the United States. Luckily, there are steps people can take to protect themselves from getting a mosquito bite. Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommend applying insect repellant containing DEET and taking stock of any items that may collect water after a rainfall. The cooler weather is also expected to help quell further transmission of the disease this year.