West Nile Virus Statistics

Since the West Nile virus outbreak may still be considered a fairly new threat, it has already been a cause of alarm in the US as well as in other parts of North America. It has also have become quite a dangerous disease that has been affecting a number of Americans since 1999.

The year that the West Nile virus was documented in the US saw about 62 diagnoses of the infection that led to seven deaths.

In the year 2000, the documented number of people infected with the West Nile virus decreased to 21 known diagnoses that led to two deaths. But in 2001, the number of diagnosed West Nile virus infections went up to 66 known cases and resulted to nine deaths.

2002 was even more serious as there was an incredible increase in known West Nile virus infections. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention listed a total of 4156 cases of West Nile virus infections that resulted in 284 deaths.

2003 showed a bleaker picture as the incidence of infection more than doubled to 9862 cases and 264 deaths. As the experts are becoming aware and started educating the public in the prevention of the West Nile disease, the incidence of cases went down in 2004 with the number of recorded cases diagnosed with the West Nile virus infection listed at 2539 and only 100 deaths.

In 2005, the cases of infection were 3000 with 119 deaths. The latest figures at 2006 saw the incidence slightly increasing at 4269 cases of infection with 177 deaths.

Other facts worth knowing about the West Nile virus are that people over 50 are on a higher risk of getting the severe illness by the infection. This might indicate that a lower disease resistance may help bring about the rapid progression of the infection.

That is why it is important to have people over 50 take a lot more care in protecting themselves from mosquito bites especially during the summer when the incidence of West Nile virus are high.

People who find themselves outside more are a higher level of risk from getting infected. This is especially true during the summer. The more time spent outdoors can mean that one is more likely to get bitten with an infected mosquito that may lead to virus transmission.

Avoiding mosquito bites is a must. If going outdoors cannot be prevented, trying to use over the counter mosquito repellants every time can greatly help in keeping away the mosquitoes.

People should also know that the West Nile virus infection can have different effects on people, especially when it comes to the symptoms they display. About one in 150 people will display severe symptoms when infected by the virus.

Up to 20 percent of people infected by the virus experience milder symptoms such as headaches, rashes nausea and swollen lymph glands. 80 percent of those infected by the virus will not show the usual symptoms at all.

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