Infections of West Nile virus could set U.S. record

September 28, 2012 by Michael C. Purdy

This year, infections with West Nile virus are on pace to be one of the worst years yet. Scientists speculate, but cannot yet prove, that the surge in infections may be attributable to warm spring temperatures across much of the country, which allowed the mosquitoes that spread the virus to begin breeding early.

For most people, West Nile infections do not cause symptoms. But in people 50 and older and those with weakened immune systems, West Nile can potentially become life-threatening. Infection rates tend to peak in July, August and September, but the season can continue well into the fall, especially in warmer regions.

expert Michael Diamond, MD, PhD, professor of and of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is working to develop better treatments for the virus. He talks about this year's West Nile and offers tips for avoiding the virus. 

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Related Stories

West Nile virus on the rise in US: CDC

August 2, 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 report.

Recommended for you

Viruses thrive in big families, in sickness and in health

August 5, 2015

The BIG LoVE (Utah Better Identification of Germs-Longitudinal Viral Epidemiology) study, led by scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine, finds that each bundle of joy puts the entire household at increased ...

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 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.