West Nile Virus Across America: New Cases Reported In New York, Maine, Illinois And California

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There have been several new cases of West Nile virus in several counties across the United States. Some of the cases have occurred in animals but human infections have been reported in 43 states.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, as of Sept. 10 there have been 696 positive test results for West Nile virus in the U.S. with Colorado having the highest number of positive cases with 120 followed by California with 117.

The San Gabriel Valley of Southern California reported a flock of chickens were infected with the West Nile virus, reports Los Angeles Times. According to official reports from the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District, sampled mosquitoes from the city of Arcadia as well as samples collected in the neighboring cities of Irwindale and Monterey Park tested positive for West Nile virus. Many cases of West Nile go unreported and Los Angeles Times cites an official who states there could be more than 1,000 unreported cases in Los Angeles County in 2013.

A report from the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease, CBCD, states there needs to be more awareness about West Nile virus infection. The CBCD reports states there have been six West Nile-related six deaths in California. West Nile virus has been found in New York City mosquitoes and there have been new reports of positive tests in several counties across the U.S., including Illinois and Maine. On Sept. 14, Pennsylvania reported their first West Nile virus-related death. An unidentified man from Bucks County was diagnosed with West Nile virus on Aug. 20.

The CDC recommends individuals take precaution when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active. For preventative measures, the CDC recommends using a form of repellant “containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.” Long sleeves and long pants should be worn when outdoors, weather permitting, and individuals should make sure windows and doors are properly screened, as well as repair any damage to existing screens. A map from the U.S. Geological Survey provides detailed information about West Nile virus cases per state and by county.

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