The recent West Nile virus outbreak is the largest ever seen in the United States, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC had previously recorded more than 30,000 people since 1999, who have been sick with West Nile virus. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile virus (WNV) that can cause serious, life altering disease.
In 2012 the number of recorded cases of the virus is the largest in history. Here is exactly what the CDC had to say:
“Thus far in 2012, 47 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 1118 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 41 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 629 (56%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 489 (44%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.
The 1118 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. Approximately 75 percent of the cases have been reported from 5 states (Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma) and almost half of all cases have been reported from Texas.”
There is no clear reason for why there has been a spike in West Nile cases but the warm weather may have played a factor in causing favorable conditions for the disease’s transfer to humans.
According to CNN about 75% of the cases are in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota and Oklahoma.
Although most mosquitoes are not carriers of the West Nile Virus, the CDC does recommend that people in lush environments, or in area’s with lots of bugs such as gardens do wear insect repellent.