West Nile Virus emergency in Texas

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PostMon Aug 13, 2012 7:22 pm » by Evildweeb


(Note: In a UPI story it stated there were nine deaths so far - the State Health Department report fails to mention that little nugget.....also check the difference between the dates of the two reports)


West Nile virus prompts public health emergency in Dallas County, Texas

By Michael Martinez, CNN

updated 11:34 AM EDT, Sat August 11, 2012


(CNN) -- A West Nile virus epidemic has prompted a public health emergency in Dallas County, Texas, where the disease has killed nine people, a judge declared Friday.

The virus there infected 175 people, said Patricia Huston of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared the emergency in his capacity as director of the county's Homeland Security and Emergency Management and instructed the department to file a local disaster declaration with the state.

"This declaration will expand our avenues for assistance in our ongoing battle with West Nile virus," Jenkins said in a statement.

West Nile virus on the rise in the U.S.

Insecticide spraying by planes will be offered to certain communities hit hard by the virus as long as those local governments request it, Jenkins told reporters.

The aerial spraying would occur from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., when children are inside, Jenkins said.

"The insecticide is safe," Jenkins said. "The planes are quite sophisticated, and they get the spray to where it needs to go."

The judge organized an invitation-only work session Friday with county, state and federal officials to discuss a response to the epidemic.

The United States is experiencing its biggest spike in West Nile virus since 2004, with 241 cases of the disease reported nationwide this year so far, including four deaths, health officials said last weekend, before the latest totals.

Of the 42 states that have reported infections in people, birds or mosquitoes, 80% of them have been in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. The CDC listed a breakdown of infections by state.

"It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years," said Marc Fischer, a CDC medical epidemiologist. "Regardless of the reasons for the increase, people should be aware of the West Nile virus activity in their area and take action to protect themselves and their family."

The virus is transmitted through infected mosquitoes.

In the United States, most infections occur between June and September, and peak in August, according to the CDC.

Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

"Less than 1% develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues)," the CDC said.

Those at greater risk are people older than 50 and those with conditions such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease, or with organ transplants.

There are no medications to treat West Nile virus or vaccines to prevent infection. People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, but those more seriously affected may need hospital care.

Health experts say prevention measures include avoiding mosquito bites, using insect repellant and getting rid of insect breeding sites

STORY @ CNN


http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/10/us/texas- ... emergency/




Texas State Department of Health

DSHS Urges Precautions to Reduce West Nile Exposure

News Release
July 27, 2012

The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging people to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus, a mosquito borne illness. People should use insect repellent when outdoors and avoid going outside at dusk and dawn.

There has been a higher than usual number of human West Nile cases in Texas this year due to the warm winter and recent rains, particularly in the North Texas region. Statewide there have been 111 human West Nile virus cases and one death reported to DSHS this year. Of those, 71 were West Nile neuroinvasive disease cases, and 40 were West Nile fever cases. Approximately 80 percent of the cases reside in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton counties.

Over the past 10 years, 49 cases on average were reported to DSHS by this time each year, ranging from a low of 3 cases in 2011 to a high of 171 cases in 2006.

Humans can contract West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. Infected mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and mammals. The virus can cause serious illness or death. West Nile neuroinvasive disease symptoms include stiff neck, visual problems, body tremors, mental confusion, memory loss and seizures. The milder form of the illness is West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and bone aches, nausea and drowsiness.

People with the milder form of illness typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own.

The intensity of West Nile virus activity in Texas fluctuates from year to year and depends on a variety of factors including the weather, the numbers of birds and mosquitoes that maintain and spread the virus and human behavior. The season can last up until the first hard freeze of the year.

There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection. People over 50 years old and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill when they become infected with the virus. If people have symptoms that cause them concern, they should contact their healthcare provider.

To reduce exposure to West Nile virus:

Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Regularly drain standing water, including water collects in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.

For more information on West Nile statistics, visit http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/diseas ... /westNile/.

Note: Local health departments report human cases of West Nile virus to DSHS and may have more up-to-date numbers on new cases in their areas.


http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/20120727.aspx
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PostMon Aug 13, 2012 7:26 pm » by *WillEase*



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PostMon Aug 13, 2012 7:43 pm » by Evildweeb


willease666 wrote:http://www.disclose.tv/forum/west-nile-virus-spreads-across-america-t76558.html



Thanks Will - good catch :flop:


:cheers:
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