West Nile Virus Outbreak in Texas Worst in United States

Officials in Dallas County have declared a state of emergency as the West Nile Virus infected more than 190 people, killing 10. Texas is hit with the worst outbreak in the United States.

The unusually warm winter and rainy spring in many parts of Texas, including Dallas-Fort Worth, have provided ideal conditions for breeding mosquitoes, the carriers of the virus that causes the fatal disease.

The emergency declaration would pave the way for the county to utilize state money and resources to battle the outbreak. The county will deploy small planes to spray insecticide over hard-hit neighborhoods, apart from the ground spraying being conducted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Texas contracted the highest number of West Nile infections and has suffered more deaths related to the disease than any other state in the country.

The whole of Texas reported 16 deaths, including 10 in Dallas County, caused by West Nile Virus so far this year. This is compared to just two in 2011, and seven in 2010, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

And the virus is spreading at an alarming rate, with 381 West Nile infections reported in more than 24 Texas counties, compared to just 27 infections last year in a handful of counties.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Photo credit: Evans Caglage, The Dallas Morning News / Associated Press

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