Annals of Internal Medicine commentary urges public to take precautions against West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) has become endemic in North America, with cases in 2012 exceeding that of any other year. As of August 28, the United States has seen 1,590 cases, 65 deaths, and 303 viremic blood donors.

According to the authors of a commentary being published early online in , the dramatic increase in WNV cases could be due to "the interplay of heat, drought, human habitats, increased mosquito populations and enhanced viral development that all act in concert to increase the force of transmission."

The authors also discuss the possibility that a new strain of WNV may have emerged or that the reservoir of infection in birds has increased. While nearly 80 percent of those infected with WNV have no symptoms, a few may experience life-threatening encephalitis and meningoencephalitis.

The authors warn that and the public need to be on alert for WNV. They write, "A mosquito-prevention message must be unrelenting, directed at personal protective behaviors (avoidance, repellents, and clothing) and reduction of breeding sites. The public must be constantly prodded, with a balance of sensible precautions and serious awareness of the possibility for severe disease."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Immune cells predict outcome of West Nile virus infection

Oct 12, 2009

Infection with West Nile virus (WNV) causes no symptoms in most people. However, it can cause fever, meningitis, and/or encephalitis. What determines the outcome of infection with WNV in different people has not been determined. ...

Recommended for you

Global Ebola conference seeks end to W.Africa outbreak

1 hour ago

Leaders of Ebola-hit countries in west Africa will attend an international conference in Brussels Tuesday to mobilise a final push to end the outbreak and ensure the delivery of nearly $5 billion in aid pledges.

High prevalence of HCV in baby boomers presenting to ER

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of unrecognized chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is high among baby boomers presenting to the emergency department, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in Hepatology.

The hidden burden of dengue fever in West Africa

11 hours ago

Misdiagnosis of febrile illnesses as malaria is a continuing problem in Africa. A new study shows that in Ghana, dengue fever is circulating in urban areas and going undiagnosed. The authors of the study hope to use the findings ...

Teenager with stroke symptoms actually had Lyme disease

11 hours ago

A Swiss teenager, recently returned home from a discotheque, came to the emergency department with classic sudden symptoms of stroke, only to be diagnosed with Lyme disease. The highly unusual case presentation was published ...

Understanding lung disease in aboriginal Australians

12 hours ago

A new study has confirmed that Aboriginal Australians have low forced vital capacity—or the amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs after taking the deepest breath possible. The finding may account for ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.