CDC Reported Cases of West Nile Virus Disturbingly Lower than Cases Nationwide

By DiMarkco Chandler:

Perhaps someone should sound the alarm especially when the number of West Nile Virus deaths reported by individual states is measurably larger than CDC’s own website. Either they are short on staff and have fallen behind or something more disturbing is at work.

We last reported a week  ago that the number of West Nile virus cases reported in the U.S. totaled 241. Then several days ago we reported that cases of the disease have significantly increased to 390. Today, while making a daily assessment of reported cases of deaths I was surprised to learn that the CDC website reflected no increase, not only with regards to deaths, but all West Nile Virus categories indicated that the disease had stabilized. In other words, the numbers I reported last week were unchanged. This seemed quite puzzling since all weekend long I had been reading that the number of West Nile cases had risen in several states. In fact, today, “USA Today” claims that “sixteen people have died of West Nile virus this summer in Texas alone. At first, I questioned that number because the CDC website records only 3 deaths in Texas and only 8 deaths in the U.S. overall. But that wasn’t all; “USA Today” had more bad news. “Louisiana has had six deaths in 68 cases, Oklahoma one death in 55 cases and Mississippi one death in 59 cases. In Arizona, there’s been one death in seven cases; California had 13 cases, one of which was fatal; and South Dakota had one fatality in 12 cases. All in all there have been 27 reported deaths resulting from the West Nile virus, while the CDC Website shows only 8 deaths nationwide.

“Center for Disease Control and Prevention” had already classified the disease as an epidemic. After considering the disparity between what they have reportedly published and the real totals reflected in the state totals we’re perhaps in the midst of something unexplainable weird. It’s the highest outbreak of the virus since 2004. Three states, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma have reported 80% of the cases. CDC medical epidemiologist Marc Fisher, M.D. says, “It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years… [Nevertheless,] 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.”

West Nile virus is one of the Japanese encephalitis of viruses. In other words Japanese encephalitis simply means a disease caused by the misquitoborne Japanese encephalitis virus. It was first identified in the West Nile sub-region in the East African nation of Uganda in 1937 and primarily infected birds but humans, dogs cats and other domestic animals can attract the disease. Naturally, the disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. CDC studies show that approximately 80% of West Nile virus infections in humans are without symptoms. Due to this known fact, this year has caught health professionals at a lost when it comes to explaining the sudden increase in the reported cases of the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control says the number of West Nile Cases typically peaks around mid-August.

Not every mosquito carries the virus, and less than 1-percent of the bites from mosquitoes that do have the virus actually cause serious illness.

Most people infected with West Nile virus experience only mild, flu-like symptoms that last a few days. Symptoms usually appear within 3 to 14 days of infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The more severe form of the West Nile virus, West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, occurs when the virus crosses the blood-brain barrier. Symptoms may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis.

Of the 241 cases that have been reported this year only four have resulted in death, says official at CDC. It is important to note however that it’s the highest number of deaths from the disease since 2004.

There are no medications to treat the disease nor has anyone discovered an effective vaccine to prevent West Nile infections. People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks,”

According to CDC officials: for “severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication and nursing care.”

According to the “Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” it is possible to measurably reduce one’s chances of contracting The West Nile virus; this is done by using and reapplying repellents frequently, limit time outdoors during the dusk and dawn, and drain areas where there is standing water.

Based on the CDC West Nile Virus Handbook: ”

David Dausey, a professor of public health at Mercyhurst University says, “it’s going to get worse.” He says climate change means warmer winter, milder springs and hotter summers, all of which create a longer season for mosquitoes to breed and ideal conditions for them to survive.

With this outbreak along with many other rising concerns, the quality of life in the USA appears to be rapidly diminishing.

I’d like to know your thoughts.

2 Responses to CDC Reported Cases of West Nile Virus Disturbingly Lower than Cases Nationwide

  1. Heather August 15, 2012 at 1:06 am

    I’ve seen 2 patients in the ICU with West Nile Encephalopathy this summer. It’s really sad, truly scary. There’s not much you can do.

    Reply

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