65 Dead, 1,590 Affected by West Nile Virus in U.S.Beyond UCF, Health, News, Safety — By Kendra Semmen on September 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm Tweet
Due to the West Nile Virus being transmitted by mosquitos, the death toll in America has reached 65 so far in 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.
Symptoms are flu-like and vary, ranging from as mild as a headache or rash to as severe as paralysis or a coma. Although more than 70% of cases have been from Southwestern states (with the exception of Michigan and South Dakota), the CDC also reported eight dead in Northern Florida because of the virus.
With reportedly 1,590 affected and counting, there have been more reports on the virus in America during the 2012 mosquito season (which is Summer/Fall until cold temperatures are experienced) than ever before. While people at fifty years of age and over are at a higher risk of having severe symptoms, everyone should be cautious and prepared for this major breakout.
Simply enough, one of the best ways to prevent getting a potentially deadly bite from one of these insects is to wear insect repellent, specifically with EPA-registered active ingredients. The CDC also recommends wearing long sleeves and pants while outside during mosquitos’ peak activity times, dusk and dawn.
Some prevention techniques that may not be so obvious involve getting rid of standing water. What ways might one do this? Some ideas include making sure to consistently change water in pet dishes, and keeping buckets empty of unused water. This is so as to eliminate as many mosquito-breeding sites as possible.
Finally, obtaining good screening for doors and windows is a good idea for keeping the critters outside of the home. There is currently no treatment for the African virus, but hospitals will provide, for severe symptoms, as much assistance as possible, such as help with breathing. The virus was first found in the U.S. in 1999.
For more information, please see the CDC Fact Sheet here.