|From: Tadsamillionaire||9/12/2007 7:55:50 PM|
|Schwarzenegger Orders Aggressive West Nile Virus Surveillance |
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has expanded the fight against the deadly West Nile virus by issuing an executive order that empowers local agencies to fight the mosquito-borne virus. California is the worst affected state in the US with 198 people contacting the West Nile virus infection.
Among them ten cases have proved fatal this year. Furthermore 722 birds have tested positive for the virus in California this year. Around 673 positive mosquito samples were found this year as opposed to the 575 in 2006.
Last month Governor Schwarzenegger issued executive orders to fund the fight against West Nile Virus by mosquito abatement, surveillance and vegetation management.
“Protecting public safety is government’s top job – that’s why I’m committed to ensuring our local agencies have all the tools they need to fight this deadly mosquito-borne disease,” the Governor said of his latest executive order.
In August the Governor has declared a State of Emergency in the counties of Kern, Colusa and San Joaquin and had allocated funds to prevent the spread of the West Nile virus. In issuing the latest orders, he reminded Californians to "protect themselves against mosquito bites – including getting rid of standing water, wearing insect repellent and staying inside during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active."
According to the CDC, West Nile virus infection is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness and this year is predicted to be the worst season in the United States.
Although West Nile infection is mild in many cases, one in 150 people can develop severe symptoms, which include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
Milder symptoms can include fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. The worst of the symptoms arise when West Nile virus invades the neurological system.
According to the CDC, West Nile virus infection is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness and this year is predicted to be the worst season because of the increasing number of human cases reported thus far.
Preventing West Nile virus infection is the best way to cure it, according to health experts. This is mainly because there is no cure for the disease. Even Canada has not been spared this year as the Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed 234 human cases, 1,704 infected birds and 1,573 positive polls of West Nile Virus as of August 25, 2007.
West Nile encephalitis and West Nile meningitis are forms of severe disease that affect a person’s nervous system. Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain; meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
In 1999 the West Nile virus made its first appearance in the United States. Seven people died in the New York region, while 55 others were sickened.
Last year there were a total of 4269 West Nile virus infections reported to the CDC among which 177 proved lethal. The worst affected state in terms of fatalities was Texas with 32 deaths in the 354 cases reported to the CDC.
Idaho followed the fatality charts with 21 deaths among the 956 West Nile infections reported to the CDC.
In the United States human cases have been reported to the CDC from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Avian, animal or mosquito WNV infections have also been reported to CDC ArboNET from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Overall 906 human cases of mosquito-borne West Nile virus infection have been reported nationwide, according to the latest report from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Consumers must be aware that the West Nile Virus season is almost over, but that does not mean the threat of infection has decreased. Prevention is always better than cure, so please follow the measures proposed by the CDC,
* When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
* Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
* Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
* Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
For more information call the CDC public response hotline
At (888) 246-2675 (English), (888) 246-2857 (Español), or (866) 874-2646 (TTY)
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|From: Tadsamillionaire||9/19/2007 3:20:27 PM|
|First West Nile Virus-Related Death|
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) confirmed today Missouri's first West Nile virus-related death this year.
A 51-year-old woman from St. Louis City died this past Friday, Sept. 14. As of Tuesday, Sept. 18, DHSS reports 30 human West Nile Virus cases. Eight of this year's cases are from the St. Louis area; five from the county and three from the city.
"We always regret having to announce disease-related deaths. Our condolences go out to the family and loved-ones of this person," said Dr. Howard Pue, state public health veterinarian.
"But we also hope that by announcing West Nile Virus-related deaths we can get people's attention and help prevent other West Nile Virus illness and death. Our message is that, even though it is getting cooler, mosquitoes that can cause West Nile Virus are still out there, and people should continue taking precautions to prevent West Nile Virus infection," added Pue.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top risk factors for serious cases of West Nile Virus are for people over the age of 50 and anyone who has had an organ transplant. Organ transplant patients and others who have suppressed immune systems often must take medications that make them more susceptible to infections, including West Nile Virus. These people may also have longer incubation periods, delayed development of infection antibodies and an increased likelihood of sever West Nile Virus disease. CDC also says about 20 percent of infections lead to a flu-like West Nile fever that severe West Nile fever and that sever West Nile disease, where the virus is found in the nervous system, occurs in less than 1 percent of infected people.
"The risk of serious West Nile Virus illness to most people is low, but a death like this serves as a solemn reminder of the importance of avoiding mosquito bites," said Pue.
"While serious complications from West Nile Virus infection tend to occur in people who have suppressed immune systems and people over the age of 50, people of all ages can become ill, so it's important to remember that avoiding mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting this disease," said Pue.
Pue also went on to say, "People need to realize that we're not out of the woods yet with West Nile Virus. We have cases each year where people become infected in September and October, we still have at least another month of West Nile Virus risk, and maybe longer if temperatures stay moderate. It will take a prolonged period of repeated hard freezes before these persistent pests give up for the season, not just a few frosty mornings. People need to continue following the very simple precautions that are so vital to preventing West Nile Virus infection."
Missouri's state and local public health officials urged Missouri residents to use insect repellents that contain DEET during the late summer and early fall season of peak virus transmission.
According to Pue, products containing DEET and picaridin are very safe when used according to the label directions.
"Mosquitoes tend to be most active at dawn and dusk, and sometimes during midday, if the wind is still or the humidity high. Using an effective insect repellent, one that contains DEET, reduces the risk of being bitten and allows people to carry out their outdoor activities with less fear of West Nile Virus infection," said Pue.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus, the state public health department recommends the following protective measures:
-Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET or picaridin on clothing and exposed skin when you go outdoors. Upon returning indoors, wash exposed skin with soap and water.
-Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be outdoors. A product with a higher percentage of active ingredient is a good choice if you will be outdoors for several hours while a product with lower concentration can be used for a shorter period. Reapply if you start to be bitten by mosquitoes again.
-Permethrin is an effective pesticide designed to be sprayed only on clothing and allowed to dry before wearing. Closely follow label directions for use.
-Fix or install door and window screens to keep mosquitoes out.
-Seek out and eliminate places in your yard where mosquitoes can lay their eggs- look under shrubs and into tall flowerbeds for forgotten toys or containers that may hold water. Clean birdbaths and pet dishes once a week.
-Fall is a good time to check and clean rain gutters so that water will not collect there.
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|From: Tadsamillionaire||9/22/2007 4:30:58 PM|
|West Nile virus still active, six Illinoisans infected last week|
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported today that six more people in the state were diagnosed with mosquito-borne West Nile virus last week, bringing the total to 34 in the state for 2007. The total fatalities for the year were three, which remained unchanged last week.
The six new human cases of West Nile virus were reported from Cook County where a women in her 50's became ill in mid-September and a man in his 70's became ill in early September, Dupage County where one man in his 50's became ill in late August and one woman in her 60's became ill in early September, Kane County where a woman in her 40's became ill in early September, and Warren County where a woman in her 30's became ill in late August.
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