At Least 13 States Detect Deadly Disease Carried by Mosquitos
A deadly disease is beginning to make its way around the United States as mosquito populations rise.
At least 13 states have detected the West Nile virus in mosquitos this year, with six of those states finding the virus in humans as well.
As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported four states with West Nile virus in humans: Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa and North Dakota.
A fifth human case was reported in Oklahoma on Wednesday, according to News 9.
In California, Kern County Public Health officials confirmed its first human case of West Nile of the year on Friday, according to FOX58.
And at least seven other states have identified West Nile in mosquitoes this year, including Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Idaho, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.
Health officials in all impacted states are urging residents to take proper precautions while outdoors as mosquito numbers increase.
People are encouraged to wear long-sleeved clothing and apply insect repellent when outdoors during peak mosquito hours. Avoiding outdoor activities between dusk and dawn and dumping standing water when possible is also suggested.
Some parts of the country are wasting no time addressing the West Nile virus this year. Shelby County in Tennessee, for instance, sprayed neighborhoods on Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to Local24 in Memphis.
A similar spraying was done in the Ridgecrest area of Greenville, Texas after mosquitoes there tested positive for the deadly disease.
The West Nile virus first arrived in the united states in 1999. Since then, CDC data shows more than 2,000 people typically fall ill each year from the disease.
About 1 in 5 people that contract the West Nile virus develop symptoms, such as a fever. Roughly 1 of 150 people infected develop serious, and potentially fatal, symptoms.