West Nile Virus Outbreak Becomes Second-Worst Ever in United StatesJanay Rickwalder
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.