WEST Nile virus has killed at least 19 Americans in 2021 as health officials across the nation ask for help battling the mosquitos that carry the disease with no cure.
Los Angeles County confirmed on Monday that it had its first death this year due to West Nile virus, which can cause paralysis, meningitis, and death in the worst cases.
At least 19 Americans have died this year from West Nile virus infections[/caption]
Arizona resident Donald Streets, 86, died on Friday after contracting the virus[/caption]
The unidentified resident of Los Angeles died from a neuro-invasive disease related to the West Nile virus after being hospitalized, as reported by KTLA5.
“West Nile virus can be a serious health threat to people who get infected,” said County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis.
This is the fourth death connected to West Nile virus documented in California this year.
In Arizona, Maricopa County alone has reported four deaths from West Nile virus this year.
The latest victim of the mosquito-borne disease in the state was 86-year-old Donald Streets who died on Friday after possibly contracting the virus while sitting on his back porch, his son told ABC15.
North Dakota reported its first West Nile virus death on September 10, and Nebraska has reported two deaths.
Both individuals who died in Nebraska had underlying health conditions.
Streets’ son said he believed his father was bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus while hanging outside in his front porch[/caption]
The state’s health officials issued an alert, warning that “the cases statewide have already exceeded the number of cases last year,” according to KETV.
Utah, Arkansas, New Jersey, Idaho and South Dakota have each reported one death from West Nile virus.
Colorado, on its part, has seen two deaths, according to the Fort Morgan Times.
The state of Texas has also seen two deaths from the virus, per CDC data.
Additionally, 43 states have reported cases of the virus in animals or humans.
Health and government officials in several states have rang the alarm about the mosquito-borne virus.
“We are encouraging residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting West Nile Virus,” said South Dakota health official Daniel Bucheli told CBS14. “Simple, yet key mitigation strategies, like avoiding areas with sitting water and evening outdoor activities during mosquito season, can reduce risk.”
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New York senator Chuck Schumer called on the federal government to help the state control mosquitos, per FOX5.
“This is actually one of the worst mosquito seasons that we have had in recent memory,” the Senate Majority leader said on Saturday. “Even more concerning, these mosquitoes can spread the deadly West Nile Virus.”
Schumer added that more than 1,000 pools of stagnant water in New York City have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
“The health department told the media that these numbers break the 2018 record for the entire mosquito season,” he said.
New York City has reported cases of West Nile virus in all of its five boroughs.
There is no vaccine or cure for the virus, so the best way to protect yourself from it is avoiding a mosquito bite.
The West Nile virus is a non-contagious illness first discovered in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937.
Approximately 80% of sufferers have no symptoms, but some can develop mild flu-like symptoms, a skin rash, and could experience nausea.
But vulnerable patients and those aged over 50 can become seriously ill.
Serious infection can cause patients to experience muscle weakness, confusion, paralysis, and seizures, according to the WHO.
Mild cases do not usually require any treatment, although critical cases can require medical assistance.
In rare cases, the virus can develop into meningitis and encephalitis.
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