Alarming trend: West Nile Virus jumps 40 percent in one week
Reported cases set to rival peak years of 2002, 2003
In an alarming trend, U.S. health officials say that West Nile virus cases are up 40 percent since last week. This year's cases are on track to rival the record years of 2002 and 2003.
Sixty-six people have died for 2012 so far, with half of those cases in the state of Texas. The number of confirmed cases has soared to 894 there, with 34 people dead, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed 1,590 cases of the mosquito-borne disease. The toll is increasing quickly. "We think the numbers will continue to rise," Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases says.
Sixty-six people have died for 2012 so far, with half of those cases in the state of Texas. The number of confirmed cases has soared to 894 there, with 34 people dead, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Over half of the deaths occurred in the north of the state.
"It looks like it is going to be our worst year ever," said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. "As I look at the data, I'm not convinced we have peaked."
Health officials believe cases have peaked or are peaking now. Reported cases are expected to continue to pop up until the month of October.
West Nile Virus first appeared in the United States in 1999. Health officials say that the 2012 summer's hot, dry weather may have contributed to the current increase in caseloads.
The New York City Health Department says that it will spray pesticide from trucks in parts of Manhattan tomorrow during the early morning hours, weather permitting.
In the event of bad weather, application will be delayed until the following Wednesday. These neighborhoods are being treated due to rising West Nile virus activity with high and/or increasing mosquito populations.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: West Nile virus, Texas, deaths, cases, mosquito
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