We have been reporting regularly about the Zika virus outbreak recently, but there is another mosquito-borne illness that is on the rise once again – West Nile virus. West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through an infected mosquito. It is not a new virus and has been around for quite some time.
Latest West Nile virus outbreaks in the U.S.
Lewisville, Texas: The city of Lewisville has contracted out Vector Disease Control International to trap and report on mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus. As of now, they have found 10 positive West Nile mosquito traps this past month.
The city is moving forward to spraying and fogging to eliminate the infected mosquitoes. In the meantime, the city officials are taking regular walk-throughs of creeks and drainage channels to locate mosquito-breeding sites.
La Habra and Orange County, California: Officials are reporting that Orange County may see another influx in West Nile virus with La Habra already being a large breeding site for the infected mosquitoes. Although officials have found infected mosquitoes, there have yet to be human cases as of yet.
In 2015, several California residents died as a result of West Nile infection. California has called upon the Vector Disease Control agency to locate these mosquitoes and take the necessary steps to lower the incidences of virus transmission.
Butte County, California: A report has been made regarding a dead bird found infected with West Nile virus. Tests of mosquito pools have confirmed that the virus is in Butte County, California. In 2015, there were 55 human cases of West Nile virus, but so far in 2016 no human cases have been reported.
Rosemont, Pennsylvania: Officials in Rosemont have confirmed that local mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus. As of yet, no additional action is being forth, but officials will monitor the situation and update the locals as further information is released.
Overall, health officials are recommending to the general population to practice prevention tactics to lower the risk of mosquito bites.
For most, West Nile is a treatable condition, but for high-risk individuals it could be deadly. If you begin to experience flu-like symptoms during the summer months, see your doctor about a possible West Nile infection.
Chicago health authorities have stepped up their battle against West Nile virus after a batch of infected mosquitoes tested positive in the area.
This is the fourth case found in the area since May. Within a month, another batch tested positive in Evergreen Park. These two episodes were then followed by a third positive testing in Evanston, and now Skokie.
Anyone can get West Nile virus, but typically people over 50 years of age and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to develop severe illness. The symptoms generally appear three to 14 days after a person has been bitten by an infected mosquito.
Most people infected with the West Nile virus display no signs or symptoms. About 20 percent of people develop a mild infection called West Nile fever. Common signs and symptoms of West Nile fever include fever, headache, body ache, tiredness, skin rash, and eye pain.
In less than one percent of infected people, the virus causes a serious neurological infection. Such infection may include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
Despite the spread of infected mosquitoes, no human cases of the virus have been reported so far this year. Continue reading…
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has sponsored the clinical trial of a new vaccine designed to protect against West Nile virus.
The experimental vaccine was originally discovered and developed by scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Now, it is being tested in a Phase 1 clinical trial at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
The vaccine, which was successful in protecting mice from the virus, will test the safety of the vaccine in humans. The trial will enroll 50 men and women, aged 18 to 50 years. Each person will receive an intramuscular injection twice: On day one and on day 29. Study participants will be monitored for 14 months.
“Since first appearing in the United States in 1999, West Nile Virus has emerged as an important health threat in this country. NIAID is committed to research efforts to advance a preventive vaccine that could protect people against West Nile virus infection,” said NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci.
The West Nile virus is most commonly spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The viral infection is typically a seasonal epidemic in the U.S. that begins in late spring and continues into the fall.
The majority of people infected with West Nile will show no symptoms, but about one in 150 people infected will develop a serious neurologic illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis, which can be fatal. Continue reading…
The Department of Health in North Dakota has confirmed the West Nile virus (WNV) disease in a human serum sample. This is the first case of human infection of the dangerous virus in 2015.
With the monsoon coming earlier this year in some parts of the country, there has been an unexpected surge in the mosquito population. In many states, health officials have detected the virus in mosquitoes, but until this recent development, no humans had been infected with the virus.
The North Dakota patient, a woman in her 40s, lives in McLean County. Though she has the symptoms of the viral infection, she has not been hospitalized for her illness.
In addition to this isolated human case, two mosquito colonies from Grand Forks County in North Dakota have shown strains of the WNV. Continue reading…