Health Officials Put Americans On Notice Over West Nile Virus

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jun 22, 2023 - 02:20 AM

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Authorities across the United States have issued notices about West Nile virus, a deadly disease that can be spread via mosquitoes, after more positive cases have been reported.

A micrograph of the West Nile virus in a 2014 photo. (Cynthia Goldsmith, P.E. Rollin, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

In a recent instance, Iowa’s Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the state’s first case of West Nile virus in an older adult, who was not identified, in Plymouth County.

Warm summer weather means Iowans are spending more time outside, which increases the risk of mosquito bites. Bites from infected mosquitos are the primary method in which humans are infected with the virus,” the department said in a June 16 statement.

The statement added, “Anyone infected with [West Nile virus] may not experience any signs or symptoms of the virus, however, some experience mild symptoms that can develop into more serious ones.”

People who experience mild signs and symptoms of a West Nile virus infection generally recover on their own, but serious symptoms require immediate medical attention, the department added.

Widespread Cases

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced in June that the first human case of the virus was found in the Three Rivers Public Health District, near Lincoln. The person who tested positive was not hospitalized, said the agency, adding that residents of Dodge, Saunders, and Washington counties should limit their time outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Lab assistant Amy Sebo drops mosquitoes into test tubes as she prepares them to be tested with the VecTest procedure for West Nile virus at the Northwest Mosquito Abatement District headquarters in Wheeling, Ill., on June 20, 2003. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Nevada health officials, too, issued a news release confirming West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in the 89074 ZIP code, which includes parts of Henderson, a city within the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

The positive mosquito results illustrate that West Nile Virus is active in Southern Nevada and that residents need to be vigilant about eliminating mosquito breeding sources while also protecting themselves from mosquito bites,” said District Health Officer Dr. Fermin Leguen.

In Texas, the Harris County Public Health Mosquito Vector Control Division confirmed a mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile virus in the county, which encompasses Houston. The sample was taken from a trapping site in the 77005 ZIP code, according to officials.

“Our comprehensive mosquito surveillance program is key to identifying the presence of the virus in our community and guides our control efforts to help us better protect our residents. West Nile virus has been in our area since 2002,” mosquito control Division Director Dr. Maximea Vigilant said in a news release. “During the summer months, we remind our residents to enjoy the outdoors but remember to protect themselves and their families from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 13 cases so far across the United States as of June 13, reported in Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, South Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Four of the 13 cases were reported in Arizona. There were 1,126 cases of the virus reported in all of 2022, CDC data shows.

The total number of West Nile virus human infections (light blue), nonhuman activity (green-blue), and human infections and nonhuman activity (dark blue) are shown as of June 2023. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Some Infections Dangerous

There are no vaccines or medicines to deal with the virus, which is a member of the flavivirus genus. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms, while about 1 in 150 people develop a serious illness that can be deadly.

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