West Nile cases soar across US: 47 states, 41 deaths

 August 23, 2012HEALTH There’s been an alarming increase in the number of West Nile cases nationwide, with more than 1,100 reported, according to officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest CDC figures, released Wednesday, show that the national total for West Nile infections is three times as many as usually seen at this point in the year, officials said. Seventy-five percent of those cases were reported in five states — Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Dakota and Texas — with about half in Texas. “We are in the midst of one of the worst West Nile virus outbreaks ever seen in the U.S.,” Lyle R. Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, said at a briefing. West Nile cases can be reported in various ways, as mild fevers or more serious diseases. Of the reported infections, at least 629 were of the more serious neuroinvasive diseases, Petersen said. Currently, he said, one of every 150 people infected with the virus develops the more serious illnesses, such as West Nile encephalitis, meningitis or poliomyelitis. Only 29 cases were reported a month ago. Now, the CDC is reporting 1,118 cases spread across 47 states, with 41 deaths. Seventy-five percent of the cases have been reported from five states: Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Illinois. Texas appears to be the hardest hit, with 586 reported cases in total. The death toll in Texas was 21 as of Wednesday, with Dallas County hit hardest, for a total of 270 cases and 11 deaths. No place is striking back harder against the West Nile virus than Texas, which has launched an aerial assault against mosquitoes despite objections from environmental groups. Overnight, planes carrying pesticides took to the skies dousing more than 63,000 acres of land in Dallas and Houston to battle the disease. More than half of those infected in Dallas County this year developed the more severe illnesses, an outbreak that drew the attention of President Obama, who was briefed by CDC officials Tuesday. Petersen said it was not clear whether the number of serious illnesses had increased or if reporting had improved. Those with serious forms of West Nile-related illnesses are usually admitted to hospitals, where officials test and report results. Those with the milder West Nile fever might not see a doctor or be tested. Only about 2 percent to 3 percent of such infections are reported, Petersen said. Those who become infected develop lifelong immunity, said Petersen, who added that he was infected in 2003 when he was bitten by a mosquito while jogging. –ABC News
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7 Responses to West Nile cases soar across US: 47 states, 41 deaths

  1. SoSo says:

    Ah they forgot to mention the death in North Carolina from this virus.


  2. Doreen Agostino says:

    Basic Virology:
    The only way to know for sure that such antigens and genetic material come from a specific virus is to isolate the virus from surrounding biological matter. Through a process of ultra-fine filtration (to eliminate cells, bacteria etc.), centrifugation (which separates particles by density through high-speed spinning), and other techniques, one should be able to obtain a reasonably pure virus sample. Purity can be verified by putting a portion of the sample under an electron microscope and ensuring that all particles are the same size and shape. Only then can the sample be analyzed with the assurance that the proteins and genetic material came only from this specific virus. This still does not prove that this virus is responsible for the illness, but it is a first step. Otherwise, all subsequent experiments that attempt to characterize the virus will be utilizing samples which are contaminated with extraneous matter, such as active enzymes, hormones, proteins, various fragments of cells and sub-cellular structures, mock viruses, and other viruses.
    Virus isolation for West Nile Virus was claimed in papers published in the prestigious journal Science in 1999 [Anderson, 1999]. The process reported there bears no resemblance to the isolation described above, or to the dictionary definition of the word ‘isolate’ (“To place or set apart or alone”). Full article at http://naturalhorse.com/archive/volume4/Issue6/article_8.php

    True or False?
    The fact is, no one knows. The West Nile virus was never purified. I find no evidence anywhere in the scientific literature that the rules of virus purification and isolation were followed thoroughly. Add to this potentially serious omission the scientific indifference to the possible role of the environment in what is being called “West Nile” illness and death.

    So what does this all suggest? A major error in understanding why many birds and some individuals are becoming ill? An unnecessary and costly West Nile virus industry, consisting of drug development, vaccine-making, public health fiefdoms, fights for status and funding, and so on?

    It would help to clarify the situation if we could get some serious air toxicology research underway. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. Full article at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117258&page=4#.UDY8adZlRcQ


    • alex says:

      Your are 100% right its all about being able to put more harmful chemicals in the air to hurt us. Also if this was a concern more people in america die from starvation in one month then west nile has done in its entirr span. Well cant make money off americans dieing. But u can make money from cancer and more austistic kids. Just a thought


  3. sunflower says:

    I wonder why more people are not concerned with the nation wide spraying that is toxic for all living things. It has been proven that the west nile can not be seperated in tests for it so how are they proving it is in fact west nile. If it was in fact made on plum island how is making such a huge comback in a year of extreme drought? It seems it only effects people whos immune systems are not good to begin with, so how is spraying toxic chemicals on those people any better? What is this about and why are people so passive about this issue? The spray is far more dangerous IMO


    • K says:

      I Agree! I am more concerned with the spraying of those toxic chemicals. I made the mistake of being outside when the spraying was going through our neighborhood and was engulfed by it. I had to take my dog out. 😦 I felt sick for days I couldn’t stop coughing.


  4. They spray because people allow it.

    I wrote to the Minister of Health Canada requesting pure scientific evidence that WNS harms people. I encourage people to research further and write to your health ministry, because our voices are strongest when counted together.


  5. hilly7 says:

    So far anything to be done near our creeks, ponds, or waterers I’ve done. I think I’m the only one in the family They don’t bite me usually. But since we’re close to lakes and rivers here, they’re everywhere. This evening I bought some fish and put in the still waters, most fish love mosquito larva. Now I watch this film clip where they’re talking about fish.


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