Dallas Mayor Declares Emergency Amid Spreading West Nile Virus Threat

The spreading West Nile virus threat in Dallas is becoming a serious problem that the mayor has declared Wednesday that the city is facing an emergency. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has declared the emergency in a threat that has so far killed 14 people in the State of Texas alone and 26 nationwide since the threat began several years ago. The emergency declaration in the city will lead to the citywide aerial spraying that would kill the mosquitoes carrying the disease and further abate the impending health threat in the area brought about by the virus.

The West Nile threat has become a yearly issue and concern in the US. And it seems that it is getting more and more serious year by year. The country is currently experiencing a spike in West Nile cases this year with 241 reported cases nationwide, including 4 deaths so far. According to health officials, this has been the biggest spike yet since 2004. And it is expected to go higher still since the problem is still ongoing.

According to a statement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some states are more affected than others by the West Nile virus threat. Of the 42 US states that have reported West Nile infections so far, around 80 percent came from the states of Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

According to Marc Fischer, a medical epidemiologist from the CDC, “It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years. 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,” he further added.

The West Nile virus is known to be spread and transmitted via infected mosquitoes. The virus can then infect birds, horses as well as humans. An increase in West Nile cases is usually experienced during the months of June to September, with cases peaking sometime around August. For those who gets infected by the West Nile virus, some of the symptoms to look out for include fever, headache, vomiting, body and joint aches and pains as well as diarrhea or rash.

Only around 1 percent of humans infected by the said disease develop serious complications such as encephalitis and meningitis which can become quite fatal. People who are at greater risk are those who are 50 years old and above as well as those with weakened immune systems or people suffering from other diseases such as cancer, diabetes and kidney disease.

Currently, there is no medication available to treat the serious complications brought about by the West Nile virus. Most of the people infected but suffer only mild illnesses usually recover on their own. But those who have developed serious complications may require hospital care.

Source: CNN

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