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Public urged to take precautions against West Nile Virus

Date:
September 10, 2012
Source:
American College of Physicians
Summary:
West Nile virus (WNV) has become endemic in North America with cases in 2012 exceeding that of any other year. Health care professionals and the public need to be on alert for WNV, medical researchers say.

West Nile virus (WNV) has become endemic in North America, with cases in 2012 exceeding that of any other year. As of August 28, the United States has seen 1,590 cases, 65 deaths, and 303 viremic blood donors.

According to the authors of a commentary being published early online in Annals of Internal Medicine, the dramatic increase in WNV cases could be due to "the interplay of heat, drought, human habitats, increased mosquito populations and enhanced viral development that all act in concert to increase the force of transmission."

The authors also discuss the possibility that a new strain of WNV may have emerged or that the reservoir of infection in birds has increased. While nearly 80 percent of those infected with WNV have no symptoms, a few may experience life-threatening encephalitis and meningoencephalitis.

The authors warn that health care professionals and the public need to be on alert for WNV. They write, "A mosquito-prevention message must be unrelenting, directed at personal protective behaviors (avoidance, repellents, and clothing) and reduction of breeding sites. The public must be constantly prodded, with a balance of sensible precautions and serious awareness of the possibility for severe disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Physicians. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catherine M. Brown and Alfred DeMaria. The Resurgence of West Nile Virus. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2012

Cite This Page:

American College of Physicians. "Public urged to take precautions against West Nile Virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910185755.htm>.
American College of Physicians. (2012, September 10). Public urged to take precautions against West Nile Virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910185755.htm
American College of Physicians. "Public urged to take precautions against West Nile Virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910185755.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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