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CDC reports highest West Nile numbers since 2003
09.19.2012More than 3,000 instances of West Nile virus have been reported in the U.S. this year, and cases have occurred in almost every state in the nation, according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A total of 118 U.S. residents have died from the disease. Some cases of the infection have been found in humans, while others have occurred in birds or mosquitoes.
These numbers have almost doubled within in the last month. In mid-August, the CDC reported fewer than 16,000 infections, and 66 deaths due to West Nile. Nearly 40 percent of all 2012 cases have been reported in Texas, the state Austin Immediate Care calls home.
The New York Times examined how the outbreak has affected the population of Dallas, the Lone Star state's third most populated city. The news source interviewed a man whose 91-year-old mother had died after being bitten by a West Nile-carrying mosquito in July. Within days, Margorie Wortham required emergency medicine at the hospital after a collapse.
"I wish I had taken her this [bottle of insect repellent] instead of a vodka and Coke. I ask that other people don't make the same mistake," said Jay Wortham, quoted by the news source.
The Times reports that 14 individuals died from West Nile virus in Dallas county since the beginning of the outbreak. Although the elderly are at the greatest risk, some of those who succumbed in the Dallas area were only in their 40s.
Only one out of every 150 people who contract West Nile virus will experience severe symptoms like Mrs. Wortham, according to the CDC. Most people won't even feel sick, while some will feel West Nile symptoms closely resembling the flu.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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