US cases of West Nile virus soaring: CDC

Infections and fatalities from West Nile virus have risen to new record levels in the United States in the first week of September, the Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, deaths were up 32 percent compared to the previous week. The total now stands at 87 since the beginning of the year, the CDC said.

Total cases including the deaths from the mosquito-borne disease stood at 1,993, a rise of 25 percent since August 30.

The numbers are the highest recorded through the first week of September since the virus was first detected in the United States in 1999, the Atlanta-based CDC said.

While virtually the entire country has been affected by the outbreak, 70 percent of cases are concentrated in six states—Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan and South Dakota.

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 virus—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, , numbness, coma and can cause permanent paralysis and .

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

West Nile deaths in US mount, one dead in Maryland

Aug 30, 2012

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.

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 ...

Recommended for you

Overwhelmed west Africa ramps up Ebola response

10 hours ago

West Africa intensified its response to the deadly Ebola epidemic on Sunday, with Sierra Leone uncovering scores of dead bodies during a 72-hour shutdown and Liberia announcing hundreds of new hospital beds.

Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

14 hours ago

Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to ...

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

User comments