West Nile disease has lashed out this year in many states. Some states, find they are passing previous records for reported cases, as well as deaths.
As reported by KFSM News, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has recorded a fifth death from West Nile virus, a new record for deaths in a single year. The previous noted was four, which was the total for both 2005 and 2006 year combined. The total number of illnesses in the state so far this year is now 41. The highest amount of cases recorded is 43 in 2002, the first year that the disease was diagnosed in Arkansas. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has said that cases will most likely continue through October.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. Most will never know they have been infected. In the United States, most infections occur from June through September, and the number of these infections usually peaks in mid-August.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus disease is to avoid mosquito bites. There are easy ways to do this, one is as easy as not going outside at dawn hours through dusk hours unless necessary. Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. In rare cases, some may result in a neurological infection. About 10 percent of people who develop neuralgic infection due to West Nile virus will die.
There are no medications to treat, or vaccines to prevent the infection at this time. People with milder symptoms of the illness typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last up to several weeks. In more severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized to receive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication and nursing care.