The Outbreak Of West Nile Virus

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Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

The Outbreak Of West Nile Virus

    The federal Centers for Disease Control is saying that the United States is experiencing one of the largest outbreaks of West Nile virus in history. Over 1,100 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported, as of August 2012, and that is the highest number reported since the disease was first detected in the US in 1999.

    “If cases continue to grow at this pace, the West Nile outbreak could be the largest ever in the United States”, said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases.

    41 people have died from West Nile infections. Another 630 people have developed the rare neuroinvasive form of the disease, which affects the nervous system.    Some other victims have contracted what doctors call West Nile fever. This is a condition that can cause fever, headache, body aches, nausea and vomiting.

    Recently, a woman in Studio City discovered she had West Nile when she tried donating blood. She is blaming a fetid swimming pool at a foreclosed home next door for her case of West Nile.

    An Antelope Valley resident and a 24 year old woman from Fontana were also reportedly hospitalized after being diagnosed with West Nile virus.

    On August 15th, 2012, the Kern County Public Health Services Department announced the death of one of their residents. The 88 year old female was confirmed with West Nile virus disease.

    The CDC believes that our mild winter, early spring and very hot summer have fostered the breeding of  mosquitoes. Mosquitoes pick up the virus from birds they bite and then spread it to people.

    “Termite” Terry wants to remind everyone that the best way to prevent West Nile is to avoid mosquito bites. If you’re going to be outdoors and you suspect there may be mosquitoes in the area, do yourself a favor and use an insect repellant. “Termite” Terry recommends “Off Insect Repellant” or “Deep woods Insect Repellant”, which are made by S.C. Johnson. Both have been studied by the CDC and provide proven results.

    You should also wear long sleeved shirts and pants when you are outdoors. Wear socks and shoes, too.

    You should also check the screens on your doors and windows. If they are damaged, they should be repaired or replaced.

    Experts recommend that you look around your home and eliminate any standing water which may attract mosquitoes. And, if you know of a home with a dirty, unmaintained swimming pool, call the Orange County Vector Control Department and report it. Please remember that your call may save someone’s life.