2012 Marked by Infectious Diseases

FAIRFAX, Va. (December 26, 2012) – 2012 was marked by infectious disease outbreaks across the country, and West Nile virus and Hantavirus were of top concern for health officials.

According to Reuters.com, weather conditions contributed to the worst outbreak of West Nile virus since 2003 and an unusual outbreak of Hantavirus in Yosemite National Park killed three of the infected 10 visitors.

CDC and state officials have said that rainfall in the spring and extreme summer heat contributed to the severity of the West Nile virus outbreak by affecting mosquito populations. As of December 11, 5,387 cases of West Nile virus had been reported in 48 states, resulting in 243 deaths, the CDC said in its final 2012 update on the outbreak.