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Posted on August 23, 2012 with No Comments
The nation is heading toward the worst outbreak of West Nile disease in the 13 years that the virus has been on this continent, federal health authorities said Wednesday.
It is still unclear where and how far cases will spread. Dallas declared an emergency last week, and West Nile deaths have been concentrated in Texas and a few nearby states, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma, as well as South Dakota.
In 2012, there have been 1,118 cases and 41 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, director of the agency’s division of vector-borne diseases, said Wednesday in a telephone news conference.
With West Nile Virus, it takes three days to two weeks after a mosquito bite for symptoms to start. There is no vaccine, and no drug that specifically targets the virus, so health authorities advise people to avoid getting bitten.