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General Health : Infectious Disease Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

West Nile virus may infect more people in Idaho this year
Jul 28, 2006 - 11:38:00 AM

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July 28 ( - As of July 21, 2006, 11 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection have been reported in the state of Idaho, according to Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. But only 7 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of July 25.

The 11 human cases of West Nile virus were reported this year from Ada county (1) Canyon County (6), Elmore County (1), Gem County (1), Owyhee County (1), and Oayette County (1). Apparently, Canyon County has been hit particularly hard this year by the WNV infection.

Last year, Idaho reported a total of 13 human cases of West Nile virus in Ada County (2) Owyhee county (1) Washington County (1), Gem County (2), Gooding County (1), Adams County (1), Canyon County (2), Twin Falls County (2), and Elmore County (1), all reported in August and September, meaning that the number of human cases of WNV for this year might be much higher.

As of July 25, 2006, a nationwide total of 33 human cases of West Nile virus infection have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year. The number is apparently significantly lower than what the states reported.

The states where human case(s) of West Nile virus have been reported to the CDC include California (Kern County 2 and Sutter County 1), Idaho (Ada County 1, Canyon County 2, Elmore County 1, Gem County 1, Owyhee County 1 and Payette County 1), Utah (Utah County 1), Colorado (Delta County 1, Logan County 1, and Weld County 1), South Dakota (Brown County 4 and Lincoln County 1), Nebraska (Platte County 1 and Saline County 1), Kansas (Harvey County 1), Texas (Dallas County 1 and Harris County 1), Iowa (Marion County 1), Missouri (Jasper County 1) and Mississippi (Copiah County 1, Forrest County 3, Lamar County 1, and Monroe County 1), and Indiana (Jackson County 1), according to the CDC. The numbers of human cases of WNV reported by the states are not exactly the same as those the CDC reported.

"These numbers reflect both mild and severe human disease cases that occurred and have been reported to ArboNET by state and local health departments since January 1, 2006. ArboNET is the national, electronic surveillance system established by CDC to assist states in tracking West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses. Information regarding 2006 virus/disease activity is posted when such cases are reported to CDC," the CDC says.

"Of the 33 cases, 16 (48%) were reported as West Nile meningitis or encephalitis (neuroinvasive disease), 17 (52%) were reported as West Nile fever (milder disease), and 0 (0%) were clinically unspecified at this time. Please refer to state health department web sites for further details regarding state case totals."

Overall, West Nile virus seems much less active nationwide this year. Last year, WNV reportedly infected 3000 Americans among whom 119 died from the infection. In comparison, one person in Mississippi died from the WNV infection so far this year.

In Canyon County, Idaho, however, the number of human cases of West Nile virus for this year is much higher than that for last year. According to the state, 2 cases were reported last year compared to 6 cases for this year.

Earlier, the health officials in Idaho were promoted by the increased activity of West Nile virus in Canyon County to remind people to 'Fight the Bite' of mosquitoes around their homes or when they are outdoors

"We are seeing West Nile activity much earlier this year than last, which serves as a warning for people to take precautions now to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites," says Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Deputy State Epidemiologist. "The mosquito abatement districts also are reporting greater numbers of mosquitoes than normally seen for early June."

West Nile virus does not impose too much of a danger on most of people. Most people or more than 80 percent who are infected by the WNV experience no symptoms or mild, flu-like symptoms. About 20% of people who become infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks.

Severe symptoms associated with West Nile Viral infections include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, muscle weakness, paralysis and coma. Symptoms from infection generally appear within 2-14 days after the bite of the mosquito.

The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus infection is to avoid mosquito bites which transmit the virus in most of human cases.

As of July 25, 2006 avian, animal or mosquito WNV infections have been reported to CDC ArboNET from the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, according to the CDC.

G.eneral H.ealth
I.nfectious D.idease

West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know (2)

West Nile Virus is a flavivirus commonly found in Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis virus which is also found in the United States.

Jun 23, 2006, 00:27

G.eneral H.ealth
I.nfectious D.idease

West Nile Virus: What You Need To Know

West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.

Jun 8, 2006, 08:02

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