West Nile deaths in US mount, one dead in Maryland

The West Nile virus, responsible for more than 60 deaths in the United States so far this year, has now claimed its first victim in the eastern state of Maryland, state health officials said Thursday.

"We reported 13 cases of that occurred since the 1st of July," a spokeswoman for the state health department, Dori Henry, told AFP.

Between 2001 and 2011, 20 people died of the virus in Maryland, out of a total of 215 infected.

So far this year, the virus has killed 66 people across the country, out of a total of 1,590 infected.

It is the worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease since it was first detected in the United States in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC says more than 70 percent of infections were reported in only six states—Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan and South Dakota.

Texas alone has seen 45 percent of the cases reported nationwide.

But nearly all of the country has been hit by the virus, which is more prevalent in the summer months when mosquitoes are most active. Forty-eight states have reported cases.

Authorities in New York City announced Tuesday that several neighborhoods would be sprayed with pesticide to combat the spread of the virus.

The record number of cases registered in 2012 could be due to a relatively mild winter, an early spring and hot summer, according to the CDC.

Other factors potentially contributing to the outbreak are birds transporting the —first identified in Uganda in 1937—and the exploding mosquito population.

About one in 150 people infected will develop severe illness with symptoms that include , convulsions, , , coma and can cause permanent paralysis and .

Eighty percent of those infected will not show any symptoms at all and milder symptoms range from headaches to skin rashes, the CDC said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Officials: West Nile outbreak 1 of largest in US

Aug 22, 2012

(AP) — There are four times the usual number of cases in the current West Nile outbreak in the U.S. and it's too early to say how bad it will be at year's end, federal health officials said.

Dallas-fort worth brace for West Nile spraying

Aug 14, 2012

(HealthDay) -- The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area -- the epicenter of the nation's worst outbreak of West Nile virus this year -- could see aerial spraying of insecticides as early as Thursday night ...

West Nile virus on the rise in US: CDC

Aug 02, 2012

(HealthDay) -- With 241 cases of West Nile virus and four related deaths reported so far this year, the United States is experiencing the biggest spike in the mosquito-borne illness since 2004, health officials ...

Recommended for you

Where Ebola battles are won

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Four hospitals that are home to advanced biocontainment facilities have become America's ground zero in the treatment of Ebola patients.

Depression tied to worse lumbar spine surgery outcomes

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Depressive symptoms are associated with poorer long-term outcome in patients undergoing surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of The Sp ...

Ebola death toll edging to 4,900 mark: WHO

6 hours ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has edged closer to 4,900, while almost 10,000 people have now been infected, new figures from the World Health Organization showed Wednesday.

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

7 hours ago

U.S. authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the U.S. from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. That includes returning American aid workers, federal health employees ...

User comments