Travel News September 07, 2019
A Record Number Of West Nile Virus Cases Leave 7 Dead In Arizona
Mosquitoes can carry a vast array of diseases, the most prevalent in America being West Nile Virus. This potentially serious illness has been documented more times this year in Arizona than any other state. Here’s what you need to know:
West Nile Virus is the #1 cause of mosquito-borne illness in the U.S. and 2019 is proving to be an extremely active year for the disease, especially in Arizona's Maricopa County.
So far, 126 cases of the virus have been reported in Arizona alone, which is over 60% of the national total. Of these, seven of the affected individuals died from related complications.
A rainier than normal winter is partially to blame for the outbreak. Record amounts of precipitation fell across the Southwest, which created perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed.
Even more mosquitos are expected to test positive for West Nile Virus while monsoon season is still active in the region. This could potentially lead to additional cases unless extreme precautions are taken.
When outdoors, try to avoid stepping in pools of standing water. The virus is more prevalent in moist areas that allow large groups of mosquitos to congregate.
Around 80% of infected people experience no symptoms. Fever, headache, vomiting, and/or a rash manifest about 19% of the time.
Less than 1% of people, particularly the elderly and immunosuppressed, go on to develop severe complications like encephalitis or meningitis, with associated neck stiffness, confusion, or seizures.
Of this rare group, death occurs in about 10%.
Did you know about the uptick in West Nile Virus cases? Let us know your thoughts. Read our previous article to learn about another potentially deadly mosquito-borne illness:
Mosquitoes Carrying The EEE Virus Have Been Spotted In Massachusetts.