The WEST Nile virus has killed at least 19 Americans in 2021 as health officials across the country call for help in tackling mosquitoes carrying the disease without a cure.
Los Angeles County confirmed on Monday it had its first death this year from West Nile virus, which can cause paralysis, meningitis and death in the worst cases.
The unidentified Los Angeles resident died of a neuroinvasive disease linked to West Nile virus after being hospitalized, as reported by KTLA5.
“West Nile virus can pose a serious threat to the health of those infected,” said Dr Muntu Davis, county health official.
This is the fourth death from West Nile virus documented in California this year.
In Arizona, Maricopa County alone has reported four deaths from West Nile virus this year.
The latest victim of the mosquito-borne illness in the state was Donald Streets, 86, who died Friday after possibly contracting the virus while sitting on his back porch, his son told ABC15.
North Dakota reported its first death from West Nile virus on September 10, and Nebraska reported two deaths.
The two people who died in Nebraska had underlying health issues.
State health officials have issued an alert, warning that “cases statewide have already exceeded the number of cases last year,” according to KETV.
Utah, Arkansas, New Jersey, Idaho and South Dakota have each reported one death from West Nile virus.
Colorado, for its part, has claimed two lives, according to the Fort Morgan Times.
The state of Texas has also seen two deaths from the virus, according to CDC data.
Additionally, 43 states have reported cases of the virus in animals or humans.
Health and government officials in several states have sounded the alarm bells about the mosquito-borne virus.
“We encourage residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting West Nile virus,” South Dakota health official Daniel Bucheli told CBS14. can reduce the risk. “
New York Senator Chuck Schumer has called on the federal government to help the state control mosquitoes, according to FOX5.
“This is actually one of the worst mosquito seasons we have had in recent memory,” the Senate Majority Leader said on Saturday. “Even more worrying, these mosquitoes can spread the deadly West Nile virus. “
Schumer added that more than 1,000 pools of standing water in New York City have tested positive for West Nile virus.
“The health department told media that these numbers broke the 2018 record for the entire mosquito season,” he said.
New York City has reported cases of West Nile virus in all of its five boroughs.
There is no vaccine or cure for the virus, so the best way to protect yourself is to avoid mosquito bites.
West Nile virus is a non-contagious disease first discovered in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937.
About 80% of people with the disease have no symptoms, but some may develop mild flu-like symptoms, a rash, and nausea.
But vulnerable patients and people over 50 can become seriously ill.
According to the WHO, severe infection can lead to muscle weakness, confusion, paralysis and seizures in patients.
Mild cases usually do not require treatment, although critical cases may require medical assistance.
In rare cases, the virus can progress to meningitis and encephalitis.
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