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Washington, D.C. – As of September 11th, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 2,636 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 118 deaths, have been reported to CDC.
Of these, 1,405 (53%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 1,231 (47%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.The 2,636 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the second week in September since 2003. Two thirds of the cases have been reported from six states (Texas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Oklahoma) and 40 percent of all cases have been reported from Texas.
Since 1999, more than 30,000 people in the United States have been reported as getting sick with West Nile virus. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile virus (WNV) that can cause serious, life altering disease.
What Is West Nile Virus?
West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.
What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?
The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
What Are the Symptoms of WNV?
How Does West Nile Virus Spread?
How Soon Do Infected People Get Sick?
People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.
How Is WNV Infection Treated?
What Should I Do if I Think I Have WNV?
Milder WNV illness improves on its own, and people do not necessarily need to seek medical attention for this infection though they may choose to do so. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Severe WNV illness usually requires hospitalization. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to talk to their doctor if they develop symptoms that could be WNV.
What Is the Risk of Getting Sick from WNV?
Pregnancy and nursing do not increase risk of becoming infected with WNV.
The risk that WNV may present to a fetus or an infant infected through breastmilk is still being evaluated. Talk with your care provider if you have concerns.
What Is the CDC Doing About WNV?
CDC is working with state and local health departments and other government agencies, as well as private industry, to prepare for and prevent new cases of WNV.
Some things CDC is doing include:
What Else Should I Know?
If you find a dead bird: Don’t handle the body with your bare hands. Contact your local health department for instructions on reporting and disposing of the body. They may tell you to dispose of the bird after they log your report.
For more information Call 1.800.CDC.INFO (1.800.232.4636), Monday – Friday, 8:00am-8:00pm ET, Closed Holidays Email firstname.lastname@example.org. (For TTY, call 1.888.232.6348.)
Questions & Answers
Q. What can I do to reduce my risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus?
A. Here are preventive measures that you and your family can take:
Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
Help reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas outdoors where you work or play, by draining sources of standing water. In this way, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.
Note: Vitamin B and “ultrasonic” devices are NOT effective in preventing mosquito bites.
Q. What can be done to prevent outbreaks of West Nile virus?
A. Prevention and control of West Nile virus and other arboviral diseases is most effectively accomplished through integrated vector management programs. These programs should include surveillance for West Nile virus activity in mosquito vectors, birds, horses, other animals, and humans, and implementation of appropriate mosquito control measures to reduce mosquito populations when necessary. Additionally, when virus activity is detected in an area, residents should be alerted and advised to increase measures to reduce contact with mosquitoes. Details about effective prevention and control of West Nile virus can be found in CDC’s Guidelines for Surveillance, Prevention, and Control[PDF – 111 pages].
Q. Is there a vaccine against West Nile encephalitis?
A. No, but several groups are working towards developing a vaccine.
Q. Where can I get information about the use of pesticide sprays that are being used for mosquito control?
A. The federal agency responsible for pesticide evaluation is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). See the EPA Web site for detailed answers to the questions about pesticides used for mosquito control. Please, also check out our question and answer page on mosquito control recently updated.
TopicsBirds, Body Aches, Breast milk, CDC, Center for Disease Control, Coma, Convulsions, Disease, Disorientation, Encephalitis, Fall, Headache, High Fever, Infant, Insect Repellent, Louisiana, Meningitis, Michigan, Mississippi, Mosquitoes, Muscle Weakness, Neck Stiffness, Neuroinvasive Disease, Numbness, Oklahoma, Paralysis, People, pregnancy, Skin Rash, South Dakota, Stupor, Summer, Texas, tremors, United States, Vision Loss, Vomiting, washington d.c., West Nile Virus, WNV
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