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CDC: U.S. is at greater risk than ever from West Nile Virus

 
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08/21/2012 12:30 PM
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CDC: U.S. is at greater risk than ever from West Nile Virus
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says this last year's mild winter and wet spring are contributing factors for the worst West Nile Virus outbreak since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999.

As of August 14, at least 693 cases reported across the nation, including 28 deaths, more cases of the virus so far this year than in any previous year. The earliest reported case of West Nile Virus in Monmouth County, New Jersey on July 24 - was the earliest date on record since the first known case in the United States in 1999. So far, thirty-two states have had cases of West Nile, the CDC says.

West Nile Virus is a seasonal epidemic in North America that is usually detected in the latter part of summer and throughout the fall. WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, but cannot spread from person to person through casual contact.

The CDC website warns that people with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk to contract a severe form of the illness, such as the very young and over the age of 50, those with diseases such as HIV and people who are taking medicines that weaken the immune system. Anyone who spends a significant amount of time outdoors is advised to protect against mosquito bites.

William J. Mueller, a 76 years old Illinois man died from West Nile Virus complications on Saturday. Mueller was the President of the Village of Lombard, a Chicago suburb for nearly 20 years.

In recent years, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has greatly expanded its Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) to focus on the increasing threat of bacterial and viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, including West Nile Virus.


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Unity is the great goal toward which humanity moves irresistibly. But it becomes fatal, destructive of the intelligence, the dignity, the well-being of individuals and peoples whenever it is formed without regard to liberty, either by violent means or under the authority of any theological, metaphysical, political, or even economic idea. That patriotism which tends toward unity without regard to liberty is an evil patriotism, always disastrous to the popular and real interests of the country it claims to exalt and serve. Often, without wishing to be so, it is a friend of reaction – an enemy of the revolution, i.e., the emancipation of nations and men.
-Mikhail Bakunin-

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